Matthew 7:12a - (Jesus said) "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them ...."
As far as I can tell, singer Rachel Platten, who made her reputation with the hit "Fight Song," has a pretty good set of pipes.
Now a person needs to have a good set of pipes if they are going to attempt the National Anthem. Yup, the experts pretty much agree, that song about the "rocket's red glare" and "bombs bursting in air" has a range which makes a great many trained voices grow quavery. Understand, that's only the first verse.
If you go further, even the vocabulary gets tricky. I mean you try saying "foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes" and "fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses," three times, really fast.
At any rate, Platten volunteered to sing at a Saturday night contest between the Utah Royals and the Chicago Red Stars. Sadly, her problem was not the melody. It was the lyrics she forgot. Attempt number one, she started out, "O, say can you see, by the stars early light." Not realizing it should have been "dawn's" early light, she floundered.
In the best showbiz tradition, she began again, and ground to a halt again.
Asking for, and receiving assistance from the crowd, she started yet a third time and managed to get all the way through. Of course, the media was aghast. Some were shocked and others were amused but, either way, it was embarrassing.
I think most folks can understand Platten's situation. I know I do.
How do I know? Let me tell you a secret. Almost every broadcast of The Lutheran Hour includes the Lord's Prayer. I learned that prayer when I was but a child and have used it all my life. I know it like the back of my hand. That being said, whether I am in church or in the broadcast booth, I always have a written copy of that prayer in front of me.
Why? I have a dread fear of saying, "Let us join in the Lord's Prayer" and then starting out with "Now I lay me down to sleep." And don't think it can't happen. I've seen it happen to a wonderful preacher who did great things for the Lord. But every time his people come together it is that flubbed prayer they remember.
Which really takes me to the point of this devo. Jesus summarized it best when He said, "Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them." In the case of Platten and the National Anthem, I am inclined to feel sorry for her, and give thanks for a crowd that didn't boo and hiss but -- recognizing her uncomfortablity and embarrassment -- helped out.
Similarly, if you ever hear me begin the Lord's Prayer by saying, "Come Lord Jesus, be our Guest," don't assume I am deliberately trying to rewrite Scripture. I'm not. I'm just like Platten ... and you. Together, we are all just sinful people who regularly make mistakes and who always are in need of some support and encouragement.
That's what Paul said when he wrote to the church in Thessalonica: "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing" (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that Your people follow Your Word and condemn the sins that You condemn. At the same time, grant us the ability to encourage each other during times when we just simply mess up or unintentionally make mistakes. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one carried by Karen Mizoguchi for People on April 16, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: http://people.com/music/rachel-platten-national-anthem-flub-my-mind-just-wasnt-cooperating/
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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