I sat in an incredible worship set 2 hours long on Friday morning 21st March at the Tauranga House of Prayer.
It was a harmony of peace and passion and rest, and as it waxed and waned in the highs and lows we were drawn in with melody and rhythm and song. Like shifting ocean currents with the volume to consume and push wherever they please, so this morning’s worship ebbed and flowed and peaked and troughed. The male lead was complemented throughout with a myriad of female voices around the room.
There is something unexplainably beautiful and irresistable about corporate singing.
To try and deconstruct it: there is so much ‘human dynamics’ in corporate worship, that is, there is so much in singing that is fundamental to living and thriving as a human being.
It strikes me, when ‘done rightly’, as an incredibly beautiful picture of humanity. And utterly irresistable.
5 observations about singing (with greater general application to humans and human relationships):
1. Leading and following with each person performing and knowing their part. The leader leads well, and there is never any competition as to who does the leading and who holds the melody, nor does there need to be – and so there is freedom to do what you are supposed to do.
2. Awareness – everyone is intimately aware of where the other is in pitch and rhythm and voice. There is an intimate awareness of each other and of the part that each person has to play, with no overstepping of boundaries.
3. Harmony (In community and with distinct individuality) – When a skilled male leads, and a skilled female harmonizes as we heard today, the sound is breathtaking.
4. Full engagement and ‘life in the moment’ – there full engagement in the moment. each individual’s heart is engaged, the mind is engaged, the body is engaged (the vocal chords and fingers on the guitar, the lungs mouth and tongue, inevitably the body moves in ‘dance’).
5. Synergy. There is a synergy that happens in the singing. The resulting aesthetics is more than a mere sum of the parts.
And the incredible thing, is the way in which this dynamic, this harmony (in so many dimensions than just the pitch) just flows. The music and melodies and harmonies. Without the need for each person to think about what they are really doing. There is no sense in which there is competition. There is freedom from the need to compete because each has their own role and part to play and are able to be fully expressed. And there is an awareness of the greater goal of the whole sound rather than each individual sound.
I am at risk of sounding idealistic here – but let me say that such singing is a glorious glimpse – a taste of what could be and what can exist for a world of 7 billion people who coexist not in conflict or overinflated egos that rub up and bump, they coexist not in tension or repetition but in perfect harmony and union, in distinctiveness, and yet complete individuality, in perfect consideration and awareness.
And a generation of young men and women will sing. They will raise their voices and join the beautiful global song (in more ways than one) that arises from the ends of the earth.