Come, let’s shout joyfully to the Lord,
shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation!
Let’s enter his presence with thanksgiving;
let’s shout triumphantly to him in song.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
A “NORMAL” SUNDAY SERVICE
One Sunday, a few years ago, I was playing the keyboard during services at our Anglican church. Since the keyboard is electronic, it has buttons that can change the sound to practically any style of music. We usually set it for grand piano, which is nice for the hymns and musical responses.
That Sunday morning, something happened quite unexpectedly, both for me and for the rest of the congregation. In fact, our minister has said that it was the second-most memorable thing that has happened in the history of our church, the first being when the building almost burned down during an Ash Wednesday service.
Every time I think about what happened, I can’t help but laugh — although at the time laughter did NOT seem appropriate. (Let me say right here that in telling this story, I don’t mean to be sacrilegious, but share an analogy).
We had moved into the second part of the service (the Eucharist). During this time of preparation for communion, we pray a lot of prayers, some accompanied with sung responses.
After we prayed a corporate confession of sins, our minister read assurances of forgiveness from scripture, then led us into the next part by using these words from the 1928 Prayer Book:
It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God. THEREFORE, with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name; evermore praising thee, and saying…
Then, we USUALLY reverently and majestically sing these words from the Prayer Book:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts:
Heaven and earth are full of thy Glory.
Glory be to thee, O Lord Most High.
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
But, while the minister read that introduction, my finger accidently hit a button, changing the keyboard setting. I quickly tried to get the setting back to grand piano, and at one point it looked like I had been successful. Instead, the keyboard must just have been scrolling through the different options.
Consequently, when I played the first chord, it burst out into a very loud polka with a drumbeat!
Of course, it surprised everyone, especially some people who had been feeling sleepy. It certainly enlivened the service, and our minister was having a hard time keeping from laughing out loud. I quickly turned the volume down, lifted my hands and calmly said, “I don’t know what to do.”
Another pianist came and turned the keyboard off, then back on, showing me that in doing so it would reset. (I must have been shown that before but did not remember at the time.) We then proceeded with the service as our minister composed himself and repeated the call to praise and magnify our great God.
A MISTAKE OR UNEXPECTED HUMOR FROM GOD?
In our Anglican church service, we pray the same prayers and sing the same responses every week. If we are not careful in that routine, we might just go through the motions, not even thinking about what we are saying. Sometimes we need a wake-up call, like a blast of the unfamiliar.
There are also times in our everyday life that we just go through the motions barely getting through the day. We don’t always think about God or other people. Maybe our chronic illness is flaring, or maybe we feel overwhelmed in our role as caregivers. It’s as if we are asleep to anything outside our own sphere. So, sometimes God throws out something very unexpected to wake us up.
That unexpected polka reminds me that God’s love for me is not based on my actions.
It was a big mistake, but God doesn’t disapprove of me because I caused a stir in church. He knows I make mistakes but loves me just the same. Maybe God used that mistake to remind us that worship should be joyful!
Our minister also said something that made a lot of sense. I don’t remember his exact words, but he said something to the effect that when we stand before God with the angels and all the hosts of heaven, we probably won’t be singing quietly.
We may be shouting and dancing with joy and praise much like the joyful sound of that unexpected polka.
O Israel, rejoice in your Maker.
O people of Jerusalem, exult in your King.
Praise his name with dancing,
accompanied by tambourine and harp.
For the Lord delights in his people;
he crowns the humble with victory.
Chronic Joy® Content Coordinator and Prayer Team
Gayl is a writer, poet, amateur photographer, artist, nature lover, crocheter, and seeker of truth and beauty. Besides having 7 kids and 14 grandkids (Some have chronic illnesses and one son is with Jesus), she and her husband Steve also hosted foreign exchange students. Gayl was a church pianist for years and homeschooled her children. She has published poems at Spillwords Press and an article in the book, Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. Her desire in life is to glorify God and encourage others. Check out her blog, Words, Photos and Art.
You Are So Loved
Do you love yourself like God loves you? Do you live like you’re valuable? Do you live like you’re set free?