Such Soaring Voices

posted 29 Sep 2002, 11PM

We arrived at church this morning to find it unusually crowded, so we sat up in the balcony in a few seats left vacant by absent members of the chorus. During hymns and refrains they stood and sang confidently, robed voices soaring through the modern holy space. It was quite moving, sitting among them, though I could barely control the pitch of my own voice amidst the overpowering rise of their harmonies.

Midway through the service (before the 3rd graders gathered before the altar to receive their new red bibles) the junior chorus dressed in green collars and gowns lined up before the congregation. They sang as we watched, in one innocent but unified voice, about the perfection of God and he trust that he deserved from us. As I listened, I looked down at my lap to the prayer printed on this morning's handout, and read it again and again to myself.
Almighty and merciful God, we have erred and strayed from your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against your holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
I am not sure that I have too much followed my own desires and devices. If I have, I am not sure that I feel guilty, that I am in need of forgiveness for the path I have followed. Life leads me in one direction, and the choices I've made are the choices I would have made. I walk a path that I cannot stray from. I'm not afraid of openness, but I am not presently willing to condemn my own choices and actions on a weekly basis. I make mistakes, and try to learn from mistakes, but I do not believe that I am flawed.

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