A hush fell over the congregation as Pastor Keith stepped up to the podium. "Welcome to tonight's youth service. We have an amazing bunch of kids, and I'm privileged to be their pastor. The kids are doing everything from the offering to worship. Later, Jason Simmons will share the message. Right now, I am turning the service over to Ben and Amber who will lead us in worship."
As Keith sat down, Ben walked up to the podium. "We're going to be doing a hymn sing, where you, the congregation, get to select your favorite songs. Any requests?"
People raised their hands and Ben pointed to a man in the third row. "The man in the white shirt and red tie."
"Okay, open your hymnals to number 341, Crown Him With Many Crowns."
Amber fidgeted, then began to play. After a few notes, she stumbled, but kept on playing, then she fumbled on another note. She stopped playing and announced, "I can't play this; there are too many sharp notes."
Pastor Keith sprinted up to the podium and grabbed a microphone with a somber look on his face. "We're so blessed to have Amber as part of the youth group. She is 13 and has been playing the piano since she was 10. Some music is just hard to play--even for a experienced pianist."
The pastor winked and smiled at Amber. "I think we can learn something from this. The apostle Paul speaks of having a thorn in his side. Our sister Amber has trouble playing music with a lot of sharp notes. When I was a kid, I learned how to play piano, so I know how hard it is. What is your thorn?"
The pastor looked into the eyes of the people. "Is it a learning disability, fear of failure, or rejection? Paul had to depend on the Lord. If we trust him, then he can make the weak be strong."
Keith gazed over at Amber. "I bet you someday that Amber will be a concert pianist." Amber started to giggle.
Keith grinned. "Crown Him With Many Crowns is a well-known hymn. I know we could sing without the accompaniment. Amber, can you play the melody line?"
"Oh yes, Pastor Keith." Amber hands flowed across the keyboard.
Pastor Keith pointed at Ben and he walked back to the podium, where he started to direct as the congregation chimed in. "Crown him with …."
After the song Amber stood up and bowed as the congregation clapped.
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