If you were in my choir — which is Mosaic Gospel Choir, part of the Wesley Fellowship at CU in Boulder, CO — you would have gotten this awesome reminder from our choir director, Gary, yesterday:
Because God loves the shit out of you. And so do I.
And that is just one reason why I am so excited for our first rehearsal of the spring season, which is tonight!
I joined this choir last fall with Sam and I’ll admit that at first I had, not a love-hate, but maybe a love-indifference relationship with the group, and until about two thirds of the way through the semester I was like “Yeah this is pretty fun, but I probably won’t do it next semester.” I think this was because I had to miss a few rehearsals and the rehearsals were already shorter than most choirs I’ve been in, so perhaps it took a little longer than average for me to be fully brainwashed, I mean absorbed into the juicy goodness of this choir.
But then one day I was going through some emotional crap and I found myself singing one of our songs over and over again, and then even doing what the song said:
There’s power when you call His name,
With faith to believe why He came.
Even with the faith of a mustard seed,
Just call His name when you’re in need …
(As you say that in your head, make sure to put in lots of bad-ass triplets and syncopation.)
Then the call-and-response,
Call Him — Jesus — Call Him — Jesus —
Call Him ———
(that’s where you hold it out really dramatically)
So that’s what I started doing. Just speaking the Name, and letting all of the pain and struggle and need pour out through the voice. And what do you know? Emotional crap gone!
God literally loves the shit out of me.
Of course the shit comes back. Because you know, we give our problems to God but we obsessively grab them back again. And we give them up again. And we take them back again. But throughout this process nothing has been more comforting to me than singing the Name.
So … Thank you, Mosaic Gospel Choir, for bringing me back into conversation with Jesus! I appreciate it soooooo much!
And not only that but, it’s the kind of gospel choir that talks to Krishna too. One of the first songs we learned was George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”! And you don’t have to pretend that you’re committed to any particular Christian denomination. And you can be as “out there” as you are, in any way that you are. All you have to do is want to sing and share the love in your heart with a bunch of other awesome people and with God.
And, astoundingly, when I am singing in this choir, my body feels like the exactly most perfect vehicle for the expression of my unique praise. What drew me to gospel music in the first place was that what I do when I worship — stand up, raise my hands, move my hips and my head and my feet — isn’t weird. And this group does me one better: if my belly sticks out between my shirt and my pants when I do stretches — it almost feels ok.
And if all that wasn’t enough, it meets in this funky blue chapel that looks like a chalet:
And that’s why I’m coming back for another season.