preaching to the choir

by j.lewis

mind you, i have been in choirs
large ones, small ones, good and ho-hum
and more than once, in church choirs
 
never in a choir loft, just
seats behind the podium
soft enough to nap in, but
don't let that happen
 
the sermon may be directed
at some other sinners, sure
but when it's time to rise and sing
you don't want to be the last one up
drowsy and dreamy and off pitch
 
more than once i've heard a preacher
shake his head, and say "i know—
i'm preaching to the choir" as if
his words meant nothing to anyone
or that the choir needed no repentance
 
but this i've learned, and it rings true
nothing sets the message on the congregation
like having the choir rise jubilantly
faces full of joy and conviction, songs
powerful and pointed and piercing
which is why it's always good
to preach to the choir, so the choir
will stand and sing

j.lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, nurse practitioner, and Editor of Verse-Virtual, an online journal and community. When he is not otherwise occupied, he is often on a kayak, exploring and photographing the waterways near his home in California. He has three full length collections and several chapbooks to his credit.

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