19 Sep A Testament to God’s Faithfulness
It is finally here. After two and a half years of praying, planning, raising money, moving and washing pipes, pursuing county permits, enduring the noise and inevitable mess of renovations and converting the balcony to a pipe chamber, and overcoming numerous obstacles and setbacks, this Sunday we will dedicate the new-to-us hybrid pipe organ. This organ, which came to Calvary from Arlington Presbyterian Church when their building was torn down to make way for affordable housing, has been part of the life of a worshiping community for nearly 50 years, and we trust that it will be part of our worship for many decades to come.
The music this Sunday will be glorious, of course—big organ, big trumpet fanfares, a choir at its well-rehearsed best. It will be an opportunity for the organ to “show off” a little. I’ve already had a preview of what’s to come, and I was literally moved to tears which completely caught me off guard. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised. What I was hearing, after all, was so much more than beautiful music, though it was that, to be sure. Even more, the swells of those booming, rich notes also held the culmination of countless hopes and prayers. This organ is a testimony to God’s faithfulness and to the faithfulness of the generations who have come before us who loved God, loved one another and loved and served their community. The music is a reminder of the thousands of worship services that have been held in this church week in, week out, season after season, year after year and that continue now under our caretaking.
It is a tradition for churches to hold a special dedication of a new building or building addition or a major object of worship, like an organ. In dedicating this organ, we are recognizing God’s overwhelming generosity and blessings to us. We are acknowledging that this instrument is set apart for a holy purpose, for aiding God’s people in their worship. It is a service of thanksgiving in which we celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness. It is also a huge party! I already feel so much joy that it feels like my heart is going to burst.
This Sunday feels a lot like a big “family reunion” (and it has taken as much planning and work as one, too!) Long-time, former, and new members will be worshiping, mingling and eating lunch alongside guests and people from the myriad design and construction teams whose work made the vision of this organ a reality—and melded it seamlessly with Calvary’s existing sanctuary, as if the organ has always been here. It will be a delight to be with friends old and new, and to share this experience together. The anticipation has been building for weeks, particularly over this past month, and as the countdown began in earnest this week, I have been equal parts antsy and excited, pouring over my “lists,” trying not to forget anything. I feel like I did when I was ten years old, and it was Christmas Eve. My mother and brother are driving from Arkansas to be here, so that adds to the specialness of the day for me.
If you are local, I invite you to come and share this special service of worship with us, a service filled with gratitude and joy, songs of praise and thanksgiving, and celebration of God’s unending faithfulness, love and grace. For those further afield, I invite you to support us with your prayers. Our aim this Sunday, as it is every Sunday, is to experience the presence of God as God’s Spirit fills our sanctuary and our hearts. We dedicate a spectacular organ, but it is God, and God alone, who receives our worship. To God be all honor and praise and glory, now and forevermore. Amen.
Yours for the Kingdom,
We have been blessed to share our experience with the community! We are so grateful to NBC Washington for covering this special story. Click here to view it!.