This morning I realized I missed the Pentatonix Christmas Special. I was really bummed since I had watched it last year and was so moved. . . In case you’re not familiar with the group, they are an astoundingly wonderful a capella group and I highly recommend you check them out.
Sid and I decided to listen to them on YouTube as consolation and were pleasantly surprised to find last year’s Holiday Special which included great songs like “Hallelujah” and “Mary, Did You Know?”. I have to say watching former Pentatonix member Avi Kaplan, the Jewish member of the group, sing solo the lyrics “Mary, did you know your Son would save our sons and daughters?” and “This Son that you delivered will soon deliver you” made me smile. HaShem at work on him through such beautiful music and words. . .
Actually Avi’s father is Jewish, his mother is Christian, and he considers himself Jewish. He did, however, as a child celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas at his grandmother’s house. You might want to listen to their “Silent Night” which features him on the especially moving ending. I don’t know where he acknowledges he stands on Yeshua but his very poignant rendition seems reflective of his heart.
But the Pentatonix are not about solos. Their true beauty is that even though each of them has a soloist’s caliber voice, when they sing together, the perfect harmonies are as a single full chord. No one person is heard above the others. Each singer’s gift amplifies the beautiful voice of the other to create as perfect a whole as mere humans can accomplish. Each retains his or her identity – soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, alto, bass, percussion – to produce a new sound of powerful beauty that can move the listener to tears by its force.
When we believe in Yeshua, our tendency toward self-aggrandizement is replaced by knowledge of the grace our Abba showers on us daily. No matter how beautiful the results of our individual efforts, and we should strive to do and be our best for that is also part of our journeys, we as individuals only succeed through His grace. We accomplish because He uses us in ways that serve Him and further develop us in His image.
As we acknowledge and feel gratitude for the gifts and all that He gives us, our “voice” – our thoughts, words, and actions – becomes more beautiful, more accomplished, often leading to more accomplishments. And as we grow individually in this way, when our individual voice joins that of others also tuned into Him, each separate contribution becomes something even greater as it vibrates in harmony with others, creating a chord of beautiful tones, a cord of strength and beauty.
Our worship group is often at its best when the voices blend as one rather than when a single voice or instrument stands out. As a lawyer, there is often a feeling of accomplishment after finishing a good written argument or when a great result is reached that solved a client’s problem, that righted a wrong. I have to admit, before I knew the truth of Yeshua, I would typically feel very proud of myself at those times. Once Yeshua entered my heart, however, when I would have a good result, my first thought would be to thank God that He put the ideas into my head that created the good result. I felt humbled that He used me in this way, typically to create a just outcome. I could see more clearly the contributions of others besides myself, those on the team who worked with me. My secretary and staff entered my radar in a different way than before as I acknowledged their efforts, each contributing to the whole, creating a beautiful, harmonious result.
There is perhaps nothing more beautiful than the melodious blending of brothers and sisters working together, each strong and centered in their own contributions individually, yet joined to further His Kingdom. It is as a beautiful symphony. And if good can spring from working in this way in a lawyer’s office, how much moreso in your areas of influence? In your homes and in your places of work? How much even moreso if our efforts were combined in tikkun olam, working together to help the needy, working in harmony to help others here or in another country?
What a sweet symphony when we live our lives serving and seeing others with eyes opened by Yeshua.