Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday Night Sing

Sunday Night Sing

The Sunday night hymn sing is fun. As quaint as it sounds, this old-fashioned hospitality and English hymn-sing is important to life at Kafakumba. Here is where I feel most at home: seated at the piano and singing the familiar hymns of our faith with a group. There’s never enough time to sing all the songs selected. We barely finish two verses of one song and already several numbers are called out for the next. I can count on little Maria calling out for “Freely Freely” (Freely you have received, freely give…), for old songs like “Victory in Jesus” and “It Is Well” as well as new ones like “I Danced in the Morning” and “I Will Go, Lord.” The singing is hardy and good, especially since Africans learn to sing in multiple parts and the harmony resounds in the small space. If you are reading this blog and not familiar with hymn-singing, just know that it is a very renewing practice and a good way for Christians to learn and understand the faith they live.

The pattern for Sunday night sings is very simple. You don’t have to dress up and you don’t even have to be able to carry a tune. Just arrive at seven, have a cup of tea and a light refreshment (maybe cake or popcorn), find a seat in the rather crowded living room (2-3 dozen may be there), sing for about a half hour, and then listen to Kendra read a simple devotional from the work of William Barclay. Most linger to visit a bit, but since the children must be up early for school all are gone by 8:15 or so.

As I look around the living room I can’t help but think that this is a little bit of Heaven on earth. Here are gathered blacks and whites. Old and young. Rich and poor. Africans, Australians, English, Americans. Here we are equal and experience oneness. And I get to play the piano.


RaeLynne said...

Now that looks like your in your element! I sure wish I could have been there for a great hymn sing. Next time you sing, I would love you to sing the hymn Wonderful Grace of Jesus. I will think of the many time that was sung on our Friday night biblestudies.
Love you,

Vicky said...

Makes me think about singspiration nights at Cloverdale or Balsam - those were wonderful times! We are doing a 15-minute hymn sing before our Wednesday Lenten services. We're in a big church with not a lot of people, so it doesn't quite sound like it did at Balsam (especially when the Kitchi group joined us) but it's nice to enjoy the hymns. Hope you are well - I'm enjoying your trip. Love, Vicky