Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music. – Psalm 98:4

Contributing Writer
Pastor Scott Hannon
St. John Lutheran Church, Amherst, NY

I’ve always thought the church was kind of like an orchestra– only in lieu of strings, reed instruments, percussion and brass, we have teachers, singers, bakers and worship assistants. In an orchestra you need all of the instruments, from the piccolo to the tuba, for the song to reach it’s full potential. The same thing is true for our church. But having all the instruments still isn’t enough. Each instrument also needs to be reading the same music and playing to the same beat.

Concerning instruments… St. Paul writes in scripture, “There are a varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given a Spiritual gift for the common good.” (I Corinthians 12:4-6) God has gifted you with your own talents. You have been given that gift so that you might play your part in our orchestra. In an orchestra it is the culmination of instruments and sounds which creates beautiful music. The same thing is true for our church.

Concerning music… In Revelation thousands and thousands of living creatures and elders sing to God, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might!” (5:11). That might sound familiar to you. It should – we sing it every Sunday. Our song is a hymn of praise to God. It is a song of love and thanksgiving. The notes sound off with each act of justice and grace. The melody rings for all the world to see with each of our acts of faith and love.

Concerning rhythm… St. Paul writes in scripture, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) Our goal at St. John is not to have your heart beat in rhythm with mine nor to have mine beat in rhythm with yours, but to have ourhearts beat in rhythm with God’s.

Through worship, the reading of scripture, and sharing in the Lord’s Supper our hearts are pulled into rhythm with God’s. Like musicians following the conductor, we follow Christ as we seek to make a joyful noise to the Lord.

The song we are playing is a tune filled with grace, peace, love and joy. The parts needed to play are worshippers and ministers, singers and readers, teachers and painters, and so much more. Our leader is none other than Christ himself.

Thank you for playing your part at your churches. If you feel like you have a gift that would add to the “song”, then please, l start a conversation about how to make that happen. If you feel out of sync, like you’ve lost your place, or can’t hear the beat, talk about that too. God has placed you there and you are a valuable part of the orchestra.

Let’s make music,
Pastor Scott Hannon

For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott and Pastor Shawn’s past columns, please visit and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.

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Pastor Scott Hannon
Pastor Scott serves the people of St. John by helping the congregation welcome everyone, care for one another, and grow in the joy of God’s love through Jesus Christ. Pastor Scott earned his bachelor’s degree at the University at Buffalo and went to seminary at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis in preaching from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Pastor Scott and his wife, Kate, live in Bowmansville, NY with their children Molly, Delaney, and John Scott. Scott and Kate love Western New York for many reasons, not the least of which are the changing seasons, wonderful people, and of course the Buffalo Bills. Pastor Scott’s ministry priorities are worship, preaching and teaching. Scott’s hobbies are guitar, golf, and reading. To read some of Scott’s musings visit his blog Way-ward at