Lenten Devotional: Friday, March 22

Psalm 95Psalm 69:1-23(24-30)31-38Psalm 73Jeremiah 5:1-9Romans 2:25—3:18John 5:30-47

O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Psalm 95:1-2

Each week that the children’s choir sings alongside the adult choir, the congregation is treated to pure, unabashed “joyful noise”. Without hesitation, they sing clearly and project their youthful voices. In contrast, I find myself tempering the volume of my own singing so my neighbors won’t notice if I sing off-key. Yet at home, where I am no longer self-conscious of an audience, I love singing hymns with my full voice. And which does God prefer?

On Sunday morning, we “come into his presence with thanksgiving”. As the organ begins to play, I find that music alone is not the only place to find harmony. I feel comforted hearing voices around me as we join together and “sing to the LORD.” I feel uplifted when members of the choir process together down the aisle and their voices carry over. And I feel connected to our community when we sing “songs of praise” together.

As I put my children to bed and they eagerly request a bedtime song, I am reminded that no matter how I sing they cherish my voice. And I am humbled to realize that this is also how God sees us when we “make a joyful noise” together. The psalmist commands us all to sing to the Lord and make a joyful noise. He is not speaking to you or me alone, and God doesn’t mind if we sing off-key. May we continue to lift up our cherished voices not only with each hymn on Sunday, but daily.