Yesterday, the congregation at the Calvary Baptist Church gave me a present. They probably don’t know that they did, but they did…a great big, warm, sloppy wet kiss of faith and love. And all they did was do what they do best — be the best they can be at being the community of Jesus in that moment and in that place.
What did they do? They sang, spontaneously, the most beautiful four-part harmony on the hymn for our call to prayer, “It is Well With My Soul“.
The congregation has grown so over the last couple of years, that, on any given Sunday, there are many faces that belong to people that I don’t know by name. And I’m sure that they know nothing of me other than that I’m that lady who sings and has the really loud voice. They may or may not like what they hear, but that is probably how they know me.
What they don’t know is, that when I am standing up there singing a hymn to lead the congregation, I am also listening. I’m listening carefully for the sounds of their singing. And sometimes I am rewarded, like yesterday.
Before the service, when we were preparing, I commented how hard it was going to sing “It is Well With My Soul” without a choir, because I was so used to hearing the harmonies underneath the sustained line of the chorus. At my old church we used to have a wonderful choral version that we sang often, that I could still hear in my mind’s ear. I was positive that I was going to be disappointed.
But I was not. When I heard the first strains of the congregation singing, and then I started to catch the harmonies, and then, oh, then, I heard the chorus….it was all I could do to keep singing. By the time I finished the last chorus, the tears were so strong, I had to stop and listen for just a moment.
What a gift. What a wonderful thing to share worship with a congregation that sings. Thank you, Calvary Baptist Church.