Our musician didn’t show up for worship today, so we had to do the service a cappella. It was kind of sweet. Fortunately it was a simple service – absent much of the fuller liturgy that shapes our worship in seasons like Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter. But there was something simple, even pure, in the music coming just from us.
Part of what made the service special was the member who volunteered to sing an offertory – the special music when our offerings are gathered. It was a gift of thanks to God, for she had been forbidden to sing by her doctor. Indeed, she had unable to speak for several months, and then allowed only one hour a day. This week she got clearance to sing again. Her vocal chords are healed.
We pray often and regularly for those in need, those in critical care, and those facing the end of life. We don’t so often lift up with joy answered prayers, gifts given – or, like this, gifts restored – to a woman who loved to sing.
What also made our worship sweet was the gentle reminder that worship is an act of a community. It is something we do together. It is not so much prepared for us by others, as if this were a restaurant; it is assembled by us more like a potluck. It is a combination of our voices, our prayers, our various acts of service, our gifts of ourselves to one another and to God – and God’s gifts to us.
PS Our musician is alive and well; it was not a disaster that kept him from us today.