In worship over Labor Day weekend, I had an emotional moment. A few weeks prior the staff and the Regathering Team were talking about the Delta Variant and what that would mean for our actions at church. What was safe, and what was appropriate? We decided that singing in church felt like too much of a risk, especially as COVID was touching many of our members’ lives and we want to continue to show love to one another in all the ways we can.
So we began to brainstorm about the different ways to have music in worship, safely. One thought was that we have a few people in our congregation who taught deaf and hard of hearing people for many years, maybe they would be willing to sign our doxology. That way, they could give voice to our praise without us lifting our own. We reached out, and thankfully they said yes.
While Carla Myers was signing the doxology on Sunday, a scripture verse came to mind that transported me into a deeply worshipful moment. I began to think of Luke 19, which is the moment that Jesus comes into Jerusalem, and people begin to shout in the streets, Hosanna in the Highest! The Pharisees, worried that this parade and display are going to upset the Romans tell Jesus to tell the people to be quiet. But Jesus tells them, if they were quiet, even the rocks would shout out.
The love and praise of God can never be silenced. It will burst out of us, in art, in presence, in sign language, in kindness, in compassion. So at this moment, we cannot sing when gathered together. We can do a lot of other things, but the songs of our hearts will still pour out of us, and out of the world, because even the rocks will cry out. The love of God can never be quieted down.