Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; Come into God's presence with singing. -Psalm 100
Every Sunday morning before leaving the house for worship the lovely words of Psalm 100 echo through my mind. It does not matter if I worship with my wife at her church or visit another congregation the feeling is always the same...fear.
That is right, fear. You see, God did indeed bless me with a number of gifts, but the gift of singing was not in the cards. In fact, I think that I may have been one of the few children in the history of the Presbyterian Church who was asked not to sing in any of the Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Mother's Day, Graduation day... and the list goes on for a while.
I admit that as I sit in church and attempt to sing, I often feel myself becoming more and more self-conscience. It has become even worse since I married. My wife and her entire family sing well and fortunately for me- loud. Therefore, I am left with no choice except to make a joyful noise- and hope that God will accept it as singing.
While I am certainly kidding, (except about the inability to sing), there is seriousness here. Often in our churches in worship or other areas, we are worried more about what the community thinks of us than God. I know that it seems simple, but I have to stop and remember that God does not care if my singing is good- only that it is full of gladness.
I wonder what would happen if many of us were able to let go of all these worries and simply enjoy the church experience. I know we need decency and order, but does it really have to be boring? Does worship or any part of church for that matter have to be a place to feel inadequate or unwanted?
So I guess in the end we are called do what I do each and every Sunday in worship- reach back let go and sing loud with all the gladness in my heart, and hope to God that its in tune.