I Go to Sing

I might be exhausted and the children might be cranky,
but I will be going to church on Sunday.
Don’t know who is preaching, doesn’t matter –
the sermon may be helpful or not, holds my attention or doesn’t –
it’s the singing.
I go to sing.

I get up,
get clean,
get dressed,
possibly get mad (at not-ready kids, at empty coffee pot, at traffic)
get going,
get there,
get seated,
get comfortable,
get focused

and when the music starts,

get saved.

It’s the singing.
I go to sing.

It’s the willingness to stand if you are able,
the common agreement on page number,
the voluntary sharing of songbooks with people on your row,
even ones you rode there with –

but most of all,
it’s the collective in-breath before the first sound is made,
the collective drawing upon the grace of God,
the collective, if inadvertent, admission
that we are all human,
all fragile,
all in need of the sustaining air, freely dispensed,
all in need of each other to get the key right and not sound discordant –-

it’s the hidden life-celebration
in the act of making a joyful noise,
all together.

We don’t even have to sound that good.
Singing together still brings home
the we-ness of worship,
the not-alone-ness of life in God,
the best of all we have to offer each other.

When we are singing, I think that I might actually be able to forgive you
for being so terribly human,
and you might be able to forgive me
for being so terribly not there yet,
and we might be able to find peace now,
not postpone it for some heavenly hereafter
but live and breathe it today,
drawing in the grace of God,
voicing out our need and hope and gratitude and longing.

When we are singing, I can feel the better world coming,
and if I get to be a part of it, you do too . . .

so sing with me,
and we’ll make our way down that blessed road together,
collectively better
than we ever thought

72 thoughts on “I Go to Sing

  1. You expressed the significance of singing together in worship. When I was in seminary I remember our preaching prof. saying that inevitable your sermon may fall flat occasionally. It will happen sometimes. BUT as long as there is singing you can count on the hymn writer to get the message across.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 🎼🎶🎶 Singing in church is uplifting and fills my heart with joy. It stops worry in its tracks. It melts stress into calmness. Sometimes it brings tears to my eyes. Pastor Mike calls that “watering”. Most of all it prepares my heart to hear the message that our Heavenly Father has offered to our Pastor who in turn, shares with the congregation. Singing and my love of music is like harmony to my spirit like butter is to bread. I look forward to Sunday throughout the week to join in fellowship and in song with my church family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful. When I was in the seminary in the 70’s, the men’s voices far outweighed the women’s – it was hard to get a breath sometimes. Now in retirement, I just love to sing with the congregation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Unfortunately, it isn’t the same when the music team ignores the hymnals and sings songs no one knows unless they listen to Christian radio. Many of the contemporary songs were written for an individual singer, not a congregation.


  5. I love the singing, too. I especially love the sense of communion when we all lift our voices, I think you described as the “we-ness.” And I’m overjoyed when the hymns are well known and loved. I truly enjoyed your article and am glad a friend shared it with me.. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Linda I have been in church music for almost 60 years. I have never read a more beautiful and perfect description of the role of music in liturgy. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I shared your poem in church today, and made sure everyone got your name and web address. I am 61 years old, ( and oh I remember those days of yelling my kids into the car, and then arriving at church trying to give no trace of what had gone into getting them there).., and I don’t think any poem has ever touched me the way yours does. Judging by the damp eyes, others felt the same. and I think they sang especially well this morning!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you so much for expressing the importance and experience of singing in worship. I am leading a hymn service on Feb 10 and would like to incorporate your words. Please let me know if you give permission for sharing this.


  9. Thanks so much for expressing the importance and experience of singing in worship. I am leading a hymn service on Feb 10 and would like to use this, with your permission.


  10. Beautifully written and something I’d like to share with church musician colleagues through a professional journal. Would you be willing to give permission for yet another reprint?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is wonderful. As a church music director, I often find myself at a loss for words to express what you have so beautifully said here. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A friend/church musician just posted this on Facebook and once my tears cleared I couldn’t wait to send it on to a small group I just returned with from touring parts of Ireland, singing in church services at a number of beautiful and historic churches there. You had me at “…it’s the collective in-breath before the first sound is made,
    the collective drawing upon the grace of God…”
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Lindy-

    A good friend sent this to me…it’s AWESOME! Would you be willing to let us print this in our church bulletin or include in a newsletter? All credit would be given to you. Let me know, and again, thanks for your beautiful words!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I really love this poem! I’d like to suggest it for a service on poetry that’s coming up. Will you give permission?


  15. I would like to print this in our church newsletter (First Lutheran Church, Lake City, MN.) I will certainly include your name and website. Do I have your permission? Thank you!


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