This week I lost a colleague who has faithfully served a small congregation north of where I serve. She was an older woman but one of the most faithful women, it has been an inspiration to call her colleague and friend. The tradition in my tradition is that all the local clergy vest and process at another colleagues funeral and the bishop preaches. The family chose to have the cross process in the front, followed by the clergy, then the casket, and the family brought up the tail.
As we processed in many of the members of her congregation as well as her family still stood in shock, she died rather suddenly and unexpectedly, behind the cross was 28 clergy members, as we processed in we sang "How Great Thou Art." We processed in the shadow of the cross singing to the best of our abilities and sang the truth of our faith, we sang while others wiped tears, while others stood in uncertainty of their own congregation and if they would be able to call another pastor, we sang and joined in the choirs of angels professing that which our colleague believed so firmly in.
It is humbling to serve the church, it is humbling to know the great God we serve and love.
After a beautiful worship service it was humbling to hear the family of our colleague, her congregation and friends, come up to us and thank us for being present, for singing when they didn't have the voice. I often forget the power of the congregation, the power of the ones assembled, we sing, I sang, we join the choir of angels and sing when other's can't. I sing because I have a voice, I sing to share the story, I sing to worship the God I love, I sing to be transformed by the message. I sing off key. I sing when I can and at times others must carry the song for me.
Sing your song, join in the choirs of angels, carry others, be carried by the body of Christ, sing a song of love.