[This is the 5th of 6 pieces. If you’d prefer to see the paper in one piece…]
I stumbled into the wrong room. It turned out to be the place where the school choir was practicing. They invited me to sing with them and I said, “Are you kidding? I don’t sing and I especially don’t sing in choirs!” Before I backed out the door, they went on with their rehearsal, and what I heard from the back of the room intrigued me, enticed me. Their exquisite harmony lured me to stay and listen to their entire repertoire. I found myself humming along and before I escaped I signed up for the choir.
“No one has ever seen God but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God but if we love one another we can see him in one another. When we harmonize in song with one another our audiences see him too and hear him in our song. Put theologically, those who receive his love are internally compelled to reciprocate it back to him along with others similarly compelled, and together they instinctively reflect it to others listening in the “back of the room.”
His is a healing melody. His love makes us well so we can love others, even some of the most unlovable others. His forgiveness frees us to forgive. When I’m unburdened of my guilt I have nothing to shift on to others. When I can accept my place with God I’m enabled to accept the way they sing their song and we can sing together to the Composer and to an audience unaware that there existed a song so sweet.
“If we love one another… his love is made complete…” 1 John 4:12
Even before he created us to be an audience for his recital, the Heavenly Trio harmonized with each other and to each other. The song that we sing back to him isn’t “complete” until we sing it with other people to other people listening. He never meant his song to be sung solo in the shower.
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
Our harmony provokes a hearing from those who haven’t heard his beautiful song before. They’ve heard the lonesome lyrics many times, but they didn’t know that the words – oh, that din of religious words – were originally put to music and performed in such heavenly harmonies. People take notice when we sing the anthem together; the beauty of it entices them to stay and listen to the rest of our repertoire; and to even consider joining the choir.
Until we hear his song, sing it back to him, sing it with other singers, and sing it to other people who haven’t heard it, the song is unfinished. We were meant to sing with him, sing in harmony with our friends, and by our singing, entice our other friends to join us in the song.