Disaster struck last night at church when the backing tracks for the school choir stopped working. It was meant to be a night of singing with a local school choir sharing the church “stage” with a world-renowned male voice choir. The male voice choir had sang beautifully, and now it was the school choir’s turn. But after the third song, the backing track that they sung to suddenly wouldn’t work. The person at the sound desk along with the teachers tried to get the track to work. Every other track on the cd would work, but not the one they needed. Not White Christmas.
Parents were waiting. Fans of the choir were waiting. What do they do? Let the children sing acappella? Will they keep together? Will they hold the tune? They aren’t professionals. They are just kids. And one child had a solo!
After a few tense moments, the school choir decided to sing the song acappella,
As the soloist very bravely began to sing, a faint humming could be heard from the male voice choir. Quietly at first, very subtly. But enough to help the soloist keep the rhythm and hold the tune. Then as the rest of the school choir joined in, the male voice choir hummed louder. They provided the backing track for the children! And the children kept together and sang wonderfully.
Thank God that the backing track didn’t work! That moment was the most magical moment of the whole evening – when the choirs sang together. Something happened to the kids too, because when the male voice choir sang one of their Christmas favourites – an arrangement of Deck the Halls that has to be experienced to be believed – the kids joined in with them! Sure some of the fans may have tutted when the children weren’t quiet, but the men of the choir smiled.
And me, being a theology student training for ministry, all I could think of was discipleship, and how it’s just a fancy word for helping others sing and letting them sing with us. We may not always be pitch perfect in everything we do, but we journey together, learning and having fun. Except instead of singing, it’s about following God and becoming more like Jesus every day. It’s about the more experienced and the less experienced helping each other, and God doing something amazing with us and through us that we couldn’t have planned for. Sometimes even with all our preparations, we just got to be willing to show up and try.