Choral music has always been an important part of my spiritual journey. It was music – hymn singing, and when I discovered it, choral singing – which enriched my life when I joined the United Church of Christ. In times of trial, singing has been what kept me going. Now, as we find ourselves in a place where singing in crowds may be (likely is) dangerous, there is still strength and power in that music. I may not sing in a choir, I may not sing in a congregation, but I can still sing in my heart.
These days, most often I listen to YouTube videos of the Oasis Chorale. One in particular, their rendition of “We Are Not Alone” is enormously moving. The song begins with a solo; the choir responds with the chorus, “we are not alone, God is with us”. I’ve posted a link to this song before; this time the link is to a shorter version by a smaller portion of the chorale.
We are not alone. Think about that. We are not alone, for God is with us. I know I’m not the only member of our church who lives alone. We hear, almost daily, of people who are alone in nursing homes, alone – dying – in the hospital. We know there are those who are alone in their apartments, without the money to pay their bills next month.
But the song reminds us that, in an essential way, we are not alone. God is with us. What does that mean? It means that when we are feeling most alone (and even if someone is with you, you can feel alone), you still have God. When you’re sitting in the waiting room at St. Luke’s, not sure about the test you just had, you are not sitting there alone, for God is with you. If you’ve listened to the music, you’ll hear it in your head, reminding you that you are not alone. The music carries the words, gives them power, helps us remember them. That’s why I love choral music and hymn singing. When I’m down, when I’m alone – the music is always there.
This week, I want to urge you to take the time to click on this link, to listen again to the chorale sing, and as you listen, hold in your hearts the sense that the song includes you in its “we”. For we are not alone; God is with us.
Easter blessings, Pastor Virginia