Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hiding in The Choir Loft

When I was a kid, we went to Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church. That's a pretty long name, but the people there were plain enough, and good minded.

My dad and Grandfather both preferred the eight-thirty service on Sunday Mornings, because it was simpler. Instead of the full choir, they had just one person singing. Usually the same lady from Sunday to Sunday, but sometimes the choir director himself would sing.

The eight-thirty service was held in the chapel rather than the big sanctuary. There were just enough attendees to fill up the little chapel pretty well. As small a crowd as it was, it was still too crowded for my dad though.

What most people didn't know was that there was an almost never used choir loft at the back of the chapel, and every Sunday, we as a family climbed the winding stairs up to the loft so we could attend services quietly, with nobody but the preacher, the organist and hopefully God ever knew we were ever there.

People would tease my dad that sitting up there in the loft, nobody but God ever knew he even went to church. That suited my dad pretty well. He believed that you should go to church, and support your church, but you just shouldn't make a very big deal out of it, and up there in the choir loft was just about as close to not a very big deal as you can get. As a bonus, if he fell asleep during the sermon (which he often did) nobody would ever know.

I think Jesus would have approved of this as well. In Matthew 6, he tell us not to be boastful or loud when we pray, but to do it quietly and in private so that only God saw you. That's the way my dad liked it too. Up in the choir loft, in the back of the chapel where nobody but God even knew he went to church.

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