Thursday, May 22, 2014

Play Ball! Or, you know, hockey...

 "with voices loud and high"
2 Chronicles 20:19

We've been enjoying the NHL playoffs at our house.  We especially enjoyed tonight's game, when the Kings beat the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 6-2.

But I'm gonna talk about singing tonight ~ based on the amazing performance of the Star Spangled Banner at the beginning of the game. 

I use the word "performance" rather hesitantly, because I believe that at a sporting event, the singer of the national anthem is a leader, not a performer.  Some people, however, manage to do both. 

The gentleman that sang for Games 1 and 2 (both in Chicago) was amazing.  I tried to find his name online, but I couldn't.  Sorry.  His style was more operatic than anything else, in an era when a lot of the people who perform the national anthem seem to be American Idol wannabes.  Very "pop" sounding, and a lot of improvisation.  This man had a wonderful way of singing with dignity, with grandeur.  It made me want to stand, even in my own living room.

I talked about it with my kids afterward.  We talked about all the different ways there are to sing the national anthem, and how it becomes personal, in a way, even though it's a song that belongs to all Americans. 

We also talked about the nature of the song itself, and how difficult it can be to perform.  Low notes... high notes... you've really got to give it your all.  And frankly, the louder you sing, the better you'll be able to hit those high notes!

In a way, I think it's like worshiping the Lord.  There are so many ways of doing it, and if it's coming from your heart... if it's sincere, and personal, then it will be done well.  It will be honoring and beautiful, regardless of your ability. 

Have you ever seen the "seventh inning stretch" at a Chicago Cubs game?  They sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame, just as in every other stadium, but the Cubs invite someone to "lead" the crowd.  They hand that person, generally a celebrity, the mic, and they belt it right out, whether they can hit the notes or not.  And the crowd loves it.  And the singer knows it's an honor to be asked.  And that's just for Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Sing a song unto the Lord.  Any song.  And sing it any way you want to.  Sing it softly and gently, or make it a loud and joyful noise.  Know in your heart that He is worthy, and it will be a sweet, sweet sound in His ear.

~ "those who worship Him
   must worship Him
       in spirit and truth" ~
John 4:24

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