Read Psalm 149:1

In the weeks to come, in many churches, choirs will sing. They will sing something like “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday. They will sing something like “He Is Risen” on Easter Sunday. They’ve been practicing. The words will all be similar. Most members of most of these choirs will be a little nervous. They’ll want what they do to be their best and to be appreciated as such. They hope those of you who listen to them in church experience something that makes you feel closer to God. Having not grown up in church or in churches, I am always amazed by choirs. A bunch of people went way out of their way to sing for me, to sing to me. We live in a world where fewer and fewer people get sung to. Sure, we can pull up any recording we want online, but none of these are live or personal like a choir in church. In fact, nearly all of the recordings we listen to these days are digital, which means we’re hearing a noiseless, impressive, but audibly reduced version of what something sounded like. That’s right, every iTunes tune you have is really a kind of counterfeit; it is the digital idea of the music and not the music itself. Ask any fan of vinyl records and they will set the record straight for you. I wonder if there is a parallel to Christian faith. How many people who claim to be believers will skip worship on Palm Sunday or Easter? Some of them have something to say that sounds like, “I don’t need to go to church to be a Christian.” OK. But I have to admit that when I hear this, right or wrong, I wonder if these people have real faith or some kind of digital version of it. Close to the real thing is not the real thing. If you don’t want to be with people, I don’t know how you want to be with God. Heaven is people. God redeemed a people. And He’s got choirs. It doesn’t look like there will be any soloists at all singing God’s praises in Heaven. No doubt about the choirs though. No doubt.

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