It’s been an intense weekend. After clocking hours of bus travel, getting fewer hours of sleep than we probably should have, and cramming four performances into the past three days, the Moody Men’s Collegiate Choir is finally in the bus and on our way to our last stop: Andover, Minnesota. We’ve crossed two state borders, sung in three churches, and picked up two fish at a Wal-Mart in Bemidji, and through it all I’ve noticed five things that make Men’s Choir one of the greatest things about my Moody experience so far:
1. The Bus. I’ve always loved traveling, especially in charter buses, so traveling in a charter bus with the hilarious Men’s Choir men is a blast. All of their wacky traditions and off-the-cuff joking make it more fun than sitting in a bus for five hours ought to be.
2. The Prayer Warriors. This morning, after the service at Faith Baptist Church in Park Rapids, MN, the pastor encouraged the congregation to find one man from the Men’s Choir and find out how they could pray for them. It was encouraging to meet people and know that they cared about what’s happening in my life, but the most inspiring people of all were the elderly ladies who would come by, pen and paper in hand, and gather prayer requests from nearly every member of the choir by name. These women believe that prayer works, and they are willing to work at it for some hopeful young brothers in Christ whom they barely know. My proverbial hat goes off to them.
3. The Little Kids. As we were leaving Faith Baptist, a woman stopped me and told me that her son had something to tell me. The blonde-haired little boy looked up and said, in his tiny, cheerful voice, “I really enjoyed your singing today.” Plenty of people say similar things to me, but somehow coming from a child it’s a thousand times more heartwarming. The woman informed me that her little daughter had enjoyed the concert, too, and that during the performance she’d said, “This is so beautiful I could cry.” Can I get an “Awwwwww”…
4. The Songs. The lyrics to the pieces that we perform are theologically sound and practically applicable to the way I live my life, so every time I sing them I’m hiding the truth of God in my heart and cementing it in my mind in a beautiful and unforgettable way. Lines like, “No merit of my own His anger to suppress, my only hope is found in Jesus’ righteousness,” and “Be still, my soul, they God doth undertake to guide the future as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake, all now mysterious shall be bright at last,” are exactly the sort of things that I want stuck in my head. Then there’s the middle section, the portion of our concert which consists of four songs and a plethora of Scriptures that outline the beauty of the gospel. One of my favorite verses that we recite is Ecclesiastes 3:15, “That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.” We ask the audience to hold applause until the entire segment is done, so it’s a seamless ten to fifteen minutes of solid truth, like a kind of “Sermon: the Musical!” No matter how many concerts we do, I never get sick of the middle section.
5. The Men. This one may be the most obvious, but it is completely true. The men of the Men’s Choir are fun, godly, supportive, encouraging, talented, friendly, and faithful students of the Word. I love spending time with them in rehearsals every week, and it’s even more fun on tour as we travel all over the country together praising God and leading others in worship. Speaking of leading, this post wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out to our conductor, H.E. “Doc” Singley: Doc, you’re not only a great man and a great conductor, you’re a great example to anyone who wants to love God more. And here’s a personal message to any MMCC men who are reading this: you guys are the greatest (yes, even the basses), and I’m glad that God gave me the opportunity to spend this year with all of you. Keep it classy.