Singing in the Shower
Scheduled for November 30
am a “shower singer.” The family knows that the door to the bathroom must be
closed when dad is in the shower. The interesting thing about it: I think I
sound wonderful. It seems that my shower stall has an excellent tone of
voice. It also has a magnificent sense of rhythm, perfect pitch and of course
a wonderful selection of great melodies. If we could just move that shower
stall to the choir loft, we’d never lack for a perfect bass section.
out of the shower, the facts that I’m partially deaf in one ear, have no real
training in music and a voice that is remarkable for the fact that is sounds
like none other -- all combine to make the Music Department grateful that I’ve
never darkened the choir loft. Or at least they should be.
stall singing holds within it a trap: it makes you think you can sing.
Singing in the shower is easy; singing in a trained choir (we are very blessed
in that way here) is much more difficult. It takes practice, training,
discipline, and at least a bit of talent. I am assured that practice, training
and discipline are the keys. Any number of choir members have assured me that they
have no talent to sing of. Instead, they practice, they train, they are self
disciplined -- and they sing.
the Lord’s Supper there is a similar trap: it makes us all think we are good
Christians. The Scripture says the Lord loves the repentant sinner, and in the
sanctuary there are plenty of them. With very little effort, we can fall into
the habit of telling the Lord at Communion just what miserable sinners we are
-- without, of course, the slightest intention of changing. We can confess to
Him just how difficult it is to repent; how our evil habits have hold of us.
Indeed, like shower singing, it feels good to “get it off your chest.” We
confess and confess and confess -- but never repent. Like the shower singer,
we sound great in the sanctuary. We then take part in the ceremony and go away
is a terrible trap. We have all the emotional blessings of confession, all the
catharsis of laying our sins out before God (no one else, of course; that
might make us accountable for changing the way we live). We rely on the maxim,
“God will forgive me -- it’s His hobby.” If we do this, we are indeed in the
Devil’s grip. Communion was never meant to be a tranquilizer, but an
antibiotic against evil.
Scripture shows us the cure:
(James 5:16 NIV) Therefore
confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be
healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
If you come to the Lord’s Supper only to feel clean, you will get what you came
for -- and no more. Come instead for repentance; claim your brother’s aid;
confess your sins and pray for each other -- and be healed.