I believe.

I believe in God, Creator Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

I believe our lives are not about ourselves. I believe we are something like puzzle pieces, each with particular edges and colors and bulges and gaps, made to fit together to form a larger thing. I believe our skills and abilities are God-given, meant to be used, not for our glory but for God’s.

I believe in the Holy Spirit and the Church Universal on earth.

This doesn’t entirely remove the nervousness I have about soloing on Sunday. No matter how much I love a song, no matter how well I feel I know it, it’s still an entirely different experience singing solo in front of people. My hands shake and my throat tightens and sometimes my voice cracks. I’m stronger in an ensemble; I can blend and support my part and strengthen the whole without fear. It’s tempting then to continue just to hide within my group; to decline solo opportunities and stay in my comfortable role as a strong alto within my section.

But to say no the the chance to sing for God’s glory? To refuse to sing what I believe, because I might miss the notes I want? It would be saying that only the perfect should serve. Only those without cracks and without fear belong near God’s table. That’s not what I believe.

I believe, Lord, in one baptism for the remission of sin and rebirth.

I believe that God can work through my flaws, through my imperfections, and through my fear. I believe that if I feel unsure and step forward anyway, that is a stronger testimony than if I was confident I could sing it perfectly. If I stand before God and the confirmands and Scott and the whole congregation and my choir family, and I sing with all I have, and it is flawed, then let my testimony be that I believe even the flawed and imperfect can stand and serve. If I stand before God and everyone and I sing with all I have, and the sound comes through my throat round and full and open and clear, then let my testimony be that God uses what we have and redeems it and brings it to fullness. God might give me strength, and God might work through my weaknesses. What I have to be willing to do is stand before everyone and open my mouth.

I believe in the resurrection and the communion of saints in this world.

If God gives you a voice, sing. Or pray. Or preach, or comfort, or teach, or question, or whatever it is that God calls you to do with that voice. God never asks for perfection, only willingness and our whole heart. Our lives are not about ourselves.

I believe when my life is over I’m going home to live with my God.

I believe in God, Creator Almighty. Maker of heaven and earth. I believe.
I believe.