Something awesome happened in worship this week…
But first the set-up:
A couple years ago an older member of St. John’s came up to me and explained how he played clarinet and would like to play sometime in worship. I told him to come on out to rehearsal, unfortunately he never did…until the other week.
As I was arranging the music for rehearsal I see Jack walking in with his clarinet case. He again tells me how he’d like to play and mentions a few songs, one being “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.” He begins playing playing it and I jump in on the piano. He starts out legato, then after a pass pops into a joyful upbeat tempo and we trade solos. When we finished I laughed and the other members of the music team clapped – Jack could flat out play. And I say how about this Sunday?! He asked for an extra week to get his chops back.
So this week Jack and I played a duet for the offertory, and truthfully I tried to keep up and stay out of his way. Because as we played Jack found “that gear.” You musicians know, the gear that you can only find when there is a presence guiding you through the changes… Well once Jack finished there was spontaneous, uproarious applause (something that doesn’t happen all the time). The look on Jack’s face was priceless, and the congregation really could sense this was a true offering for worship. Now why was this such a special event?
See Jack is battling a particularly nasty form of cancer. Lately he has been getting good results – Praise God, but once you get news like that is is always present. And in the moment after he finished playing, the cancer was not present.
I believe music is a powerful thing. Walter Savage Landor said, “Music is God’s gift to man, the only art of Heaven given to earth, the only art of earth we take to Heaven.” We should never underestimate the power of music, and the good it can do.