March 5, 2014

March 5, 1970 – the day my baby brother was born. 🙂

Today is also Ash Wednesday, for those who celebrate Lent.  The blogs/comments on the series HT is following is at the link.  It’s a pretty cool series sponsored by the Brothers of St. John the Evangelist.

Today’s reading that caught my attention is from Psalms 95:

1 O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

It is on these two verses that we formed a choir at the Baha’i Center in San Diego, known, of course, as Joyful Noise.  This was based on a very good lesson I got from an elderly Polish woman, who requested that I sing a solo part for one of the celebrations.  I told her that while I have a good choir voice, I’m not good enough to be a soloist, and would prefer someone else do it.  She quoted the above Psalm, and told me to get over myself – my own ego was getting in the way of God’s work.

I’d never thought of it that way – by refusing to use a gift God gave me, by saying that I was not “good enough” – I was making what I thought more important than the gift.  So, I did as she requested.  I was correct – I sound like a goat when I have to sing by myself. <grin>  But it was a good lesson that one can be “too” humble and insult God by declaring that you’re not “good enough”.  God didn’t ask for us to make a beautiful noise (although I’m sure He and anyone listening does appreciate it <g>) – he asked for us to make a “joyful” (joy-filled) noise in a song of praise.

That, I can do. 🙂

Joyful Noise eventually went on to get an absolutely phenomenal choir leader (one who knew what she was doing).  We sang at conferences in a wide variety of languages; we traveled down to Mexico to sing and teach there – only to discover that we had learned the dialect of Chile, which is Castilian Spanish, and to laugh with those we met to learn and appreciate the differences; we were drilled in Persian pronunciation so much we were ready to shoot the lady doing the drilling, and to sing her praises when those listening (about 50% were Persian) were moved to tears and astounded that only one of us actually spoke the language.  Music, itself, is a language that is universal, and a gift from God.  Our director went on to make three CDs, with writings from both the Baha’i and Christian Faiths, with many of us from Joyful Noise adding our voices.  She doesn’t do lyrics – she figured they were perfectly written to begin with, so she simply adds the music she hears when she reads them.

 

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