Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pride in the House of God: A Meditation on Playing the Piano in Church

Charles H. Spurgeon wrote in his Morning by Morning devotional for August 29, “We have need that the Lord should have mercy upon our good works, our prayers, our preachings, our alms-givings, and our holiest things….If mercy be needed to be exercised towards our duties, what shall be said of our sins?”

How often does pride hinder the work in the house of God! How frequently is that abominable sin employed in the instrumental music within the church! Does Pride, that sin which cast out Satan from before the throne room of God, also cause us to be offensive in His sight? When we play, “Holy, Holy, Holy” are we truly worshiping Him Who alone is thrice holy? Or is there a bit of self-worship within us that glories in an aesthetically pleasing sound which we are constructing instead of focusing on Him Who is the Creator of all that is good?

God resists the proud but offers grace to the humble. How much better to be one who has no musical ability, cannot sing on tune, is destitute of talent but who worships God truly from the heart than one who can play five instruments and does so in hypocritical pride! God esteemed the widow woman’s two mites; he valued the repentant publican’s prayer; He would have spared even Balaam’s donkey; but the rich men offered no real sacrifice; the Pharisee’s prayer was not heard, and Balaam, the prophet, would not have been saved had not his beast stepped away from the sword-holding Angel.

How needful for the child of God to be right with God when he offers worship to the Almighty! For pride is abominable in His sight and invites resistance from the God of Heaven. A humble and contrite heart, though, He will not despise, and mercy He will award the humble. So let us say, “Oh Lord, have mercy on the sacrifice of our holy things!”

When we are called upon to serve in God’s house, whether that be accompanying for a service, playing an offertory, singing in the choir, or completing some other sundry duty, may He sanctify our offering in the beauty of His holiness, for He alone is holy!