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One of the great joys of my ministry is the opportunity to be church in a variety of venues. This past week, I was sharing in worship at a local care facility. There is a weekly gathering, and local clergy have a rota for providing services. I absolutely love spending time there.
There's a new member of that community. He suffers from some memory loss, and some hearing loss, and a bit of vision loss. One thing this gentlman id NOT losing, however, is his love of singing. ESPECIALLY hymns!
So much so, that when our service indicated it was time to sing, he didn't bother waiting for the others to get to the right page. Or for the pianist to start playing. He just started singing. With gusto! With enthusiasm! With volume!
Truly, he sang with the joy of the Lord. He was going to let the rest of the facility hear his love of Jesus - whether they wanted to or not. He wasn't in tune... or tempo... or range, really. But he made that joyful noise.
And: so did the rest of us. The pianist skipped bars to catch up to him, we hastily adjusted hymnals to adapt. We sang alongside him, as best we could keep up. We smiled at one another, and our hearts lifted. He inspired us to be more open in our singing than we normally are: and we did so joyfully and unrestrainedly.
This man made a joyful noise - and by doing so, brought joy to us all - and through us all. Wouldn't it be great if we could all find something that gives us that much joy, and then used that joy to share the joy of the Lord that dwells deep in our hearts?