Week of: November 1, 2020
Scripture: Revelation 7:9-17
And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God.
(Revelation 7:11, NRSV)
As a teenager, I had the opportunity to perform Handel's Messiah with my church choir. After almost an entire year of preparing for this Easter concert, a packed church gathered. The concert was going very well until the very last number. "Worthy is the Lamb That Was Slain" includes a complicated section that quotes Revelation 7:12, "Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God!"
Well, the worst thing happened! Something went wrong between the choir and the orchestra. It was a mess. The choir director desperately tried to bring us back together, but eventually, she just gave us a big wave of her hand stopping the music. She took a breath, turned around to the audience, and said, "Sometimes, these things happen." We started again and went on to a triumphant end. I remember feeling so embarrassed for her, but years later, I see amazing humility.
It would be easy to sing the Messiah and take the glory for ourselves. After all, we worked very hard, but the glory belongs to God. Being a Christian can sometimes feel like a lot of work and things can get messy. Sometimes, these things happen. Perhaps we should stop what we are doing and humble ourselves before God, then start again, confident in the God who created us and redeemed us. When the triumphant end arrives, we will fall before the throne and worship.
God of heaven, today we stop and hit the restart button. As we start again, remind us that we are yours and you are our shepherd. All glory and honor are yours now and forever, Amen.
Associate Pastor / Contemporary Worship Leader
First United Methodist Church
Photo: André Thomas conducts the Adult Choir during Music & Worship Arts Week 2019. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)