Here I am to Worship

Up to this morning, I hadn’t played at a church worship service for over three years (not counting Alpha day aways and weddings).
Since our Worship minister retired about four years ago, the church choir has depended on volunteers to lead the team every week. My old piano teacher and I decided to join the choir together, but we both felt a little unwelcome at first. Later on, as we observed the dynamics around us, we wondered if some of us were there to worship God, or worship our own abilities in singing or dominating the rest of the choir. Finally, when they were short of a pianist, I offered my services. On the day itself, most songs went well, but I slipped up on one piece, got a severe glare from a choir member, and never dared to play again – despite getting positive comments from more experienced musicians.
‘I’m just not good enough’, I thought.
However, after I left, things began to soften up a little. I sorted out some issues I had about the faith, by attending Alpha. I battled demons. I got baptised, attended Bible study classes and healing courses. At the same time I started learning jazz piano, then was made leader of a band, and pianist for the company choir. The past three years taught me a lot of things and helped me regain confidence in myself.
In my journey as a Christian and musician, the most important realisation I gained was that it didn’t matter if we put up an imperfect performance, as long as we gave God the best we had.
Last week, I was asked to stand in for another pianist, who was supposed to play this morning. It was an emergency. I agreed. It was a bonus to learn that our best worship leader and drummer (in my opinion) would be playing with me. And a full choir certainly helped. In three years the dynamics seemed to have changed, and those who were once harsh are now much more forgiving and appreciative.
And one more difference was that we prayed – and it felt more sincere to me now. We decided that it wasn’t about us. We prayed for the band and choir to be invisible to the congregation, that they would look past us and focus on Christ instead. Spot on for me. Isn’t that what worship is really about?
Three years ago, I was so nervous I couldn’t even listen to the sermon, let alone understand it. This time I felt like I was still part of the congregation – until it was time to sing. A lot of things have changed, and so far they seem to have changed for the better. Thanks be to God. Amen.


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