“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Don’t Stop the Music

(Please read 1 Corinthians 15:58)

November 5

Many of us probably understand what is meant by a musical “rest.” It’s a sign that, in effect, says “Stop” for a specified number of beats. We may be less familiar with a cousin of the “rest” sign, the “breath mark.” This sign, which looks like a comma, allows a singer to take a breath without interrupting the tempo of the music.

Have you ever wondered how a chorale can appear to sustain uninterrupted music when we know they have to breathe? The solution is for little groups of singers to stagger their observance of breath marks, so that they don’t all take a breath at the same time. There are few, if any, breath marks in most hymnbooks, and in congregational singing we sort of rewrite the music in our minds to allow us to breathe at will without too much exertion.

How about “breath marks” for the church, so that we don’t all “rest” at the same time? For an obvious example, we could stagger many of our absences from church assemblies so that none would be depleted to the point of dampening enthusiasm and bringing a tinge of gloom to a service.

Carrying the music analogy forward, let’s think of our lives as Christians as part of a heavenly medley, in which every person has a definite significant part. What if all of our impromptu rests, long or short, happened at the same time? Could our indolence stop the sweet music of Christian influence in a country that so desperately needs it? May our steadfast dependability increase so that we won’t, ever, stop that music.

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