This past May, our youngest child, McKenzie, graduated from Boyce College with a degree in biblical studies, focusing on music and worship. After 4 1/2 years of study, persistence, practice, and dependence on God’s grace, she finally joined the ranks of those who have a college degree.

In her final semester, she had to give a senior recital. Thanks to the excellent instruction from her voice teacher, Chandi Plummer, McKenzie has expanded her vocal range significantly, grown in knowing how to care for her voice, and become much more effective at communicating emotion and dynamics when she sings. All those aspects were on full display as she sang through her program of different languages (English, French, German, and Italian) and styles (classical, romantic, jazz standards, and contemporary worship songs).

Sometimes A Light Surprises

I was thoroughly enjoying the artistry of the evening when she came to the “worship song” part of the program. One of those songs was Rita Springer’s “I Have to Believe,” a song that unabashedly proclaims faith in God’s promises in the midst of darkness and pain. McKenzie’s singing was heartfelt, skillful, and moving.

But in the middle of the 4th verse, powerful music was overshadowed by a more powerful Savior:

I have to sing praise when the hour is midnight
He unlocks these chains that bind up my soul
My sin and my shame
He has forgiven and made me whole

In a clarifying, surprising moment, the truth of those words for McKenzie’s own life overwhelmed her. Her eyes filled up with tears. She stopped singing. We waited.

Eventually she recovered and was able to finish her program.

What happened? I think it was an example of what I often remind myself when music affects me in a significant way: Music is great. Jesus is greater.

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SOURCE: Worship Matters

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