"He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord requires of thee.
But to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God."
Chills ran up my 11-year-old spine as the girls echoed the boys' voices singing this simple praise chorus. It was the summer of 1990 in the main chalet at Camp Lebanon in central Minnesota, and it was my first time (of what would become thousands of times) experiencing true worship.
Shortly after this experience and partly because of it, I knew that I wanted to follow Jesus, so when asked if anyone wanted to pray and invite Jesus into his or her heart, I had little hesitation. The knowledge I had of God in my head now was mysteriously and indelibly etched into my heart, largely through the vehicle of music.
Years later in high school and still a very young Christian, I was growing in my understanding of God's Word and my identity in Christ and my identity as a worshipper. I also was beginning to think of myself as a singer, as I participated in my high school choir and Madrigal dinners.
When I was selected to be in the Minnesota All-State choir my junior year, something interesting happened. While rehearsing and performing with that choir, chills again ran up my spine as our voices rose up together. My heart sang with similar transcendent tones, but not while singing words of worship…instead it was the excellence of the performance that elevated my heart.
I was confused. How could I "feel" like I was worshipping while the words I was singing were not explicitly worshipful?
I don't think I fully understood how to answer that question for a very long time. I think I needed to see the beauty of His Image reflected in the faces of my wife and my daughters. I think I needed to see the reflection of His majesty as I climbed to the top of Pikes Peak. I think I needed to see His artistry as I canoed through the Boundary Waters.
I needed to realize that, like the Apostle Paul said...
"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made" - Romans 1:20
Now, singing with Deo Cantamus is truly sublime. To join sacred texts with the exquisite beauty of the voices of serious musicians that are bringing both their hearts and their skilled efforts to worship God creates an experience, for me, that is nearly unmatched. I am so blessed, grateful, and thankful for the opportunity.