Every once in a while, my mother would become exasperated at her four children becoming incredibly noisy and announce in her best Glasgwegian accent 'desist!' I wish she'd been with me tonight, at the local Christian jamboree because after half an hour of singing getting louder and louder and showing no sign of abating, I sure felt like shouting it! In fact, if I'm honest, I felt God was probably saying it but the noise was so loud that hardly anyone could hear. Psalm 46:10 - desist! I AM God. Mark 4: 29 - shush, cease, desist.
As time passes, I get more and more confused about the applause that follows songs and hymns - who or what is being applauded? Not sure it's actually God. Desist!
Also, I'm finding more and more that music is led by musicians, even professional musicians, who have as much liturgical sympathy as a brick through a window. How Great Thou Art is for me a song sung fairly quietly, marvelling at God's creation... tonight with a heavy rock beat and syncopation beyond the norm it was belted out at max volume... Desist!
Reaching 20 years of age, this jamboree has done some stirling work, raising over £70k for Christian charities along the way. It seems to remain fairly popular (though attendance was notably down this year) and I know that for many people it is something very special. It is all too easy to criticise something jsut because it doesn't tick the boxes for me.
Just that tonight it seemed to me God was saying 'desist' - stop all the noise and listen to me. 1 Kings 19:12 'after the fire, the sound of sheer silence.'