Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let the Music Take You Back

Music really is a wonderful thing isn’t it? I mean – I just love the harmonies, the rhythm, and the dynamics of it all don’t you?

At our church we’ve been going through a series of talks called ‘THE STORY’. Its about God and his activity through the Old Testament and in the lives of Old Testament characters, but also his activity as it pertains to all of our own stories.

And at this time of year, as I listen to the music of the Christmas season – I am reminded of how ‘THE STORY’ really began.

You see back in the beginning…at Creation…the story began with God – no explanation for his existence because God is and always has been.

And as you read through the first chapter of Genesis you will find God creating:
• Bringing the world into existence from nothing.
• commanding light to exist.
• separating light from darkness.
• commanding dry ground to appear.
• calling forth vegetation and animal life.

And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear something else between the lines. Because there are phrases used over and over again in the creation account;

‘And God said…’, ‘and it was so…’, ‘and it was good…’, ‘and there was evening and there was morning, the second day.’

‘And God said…’, ‘and it was so…’, ‘and it was good…’, ‘and there was evening and there was morning, the third day.’

‘And God said…’, ‘and it was so…’, ‘and it was good…’, ‘and there was evening and there was morning, the third day.’

Can you feel the rhythm? The cadence in the creation story? It is as if all creation was a symphony orchestrated by the great maestro, God himself. Beautiful music. And even today if you listen carefully in nature, you will hear the music too.

But something happened. Disobedience in the garden played a very sour, dissonant note that caused the music to become out of tune. And in studying the Old Testament together and following the journey of God’s people, we discover pieces of beautiful music for a season but always interrupted by those sour notes – that haunting dissonance that spoiled God’s great symphony. The dissonance of sin.

That is why I believe it was no accident that the arrival of the Messiah was marked the way it was that night outside of Bethlehem. Surrounded by the sour dissonance of Roman rule and oppression, shepherds on a hillside were visited by an angel with a news bulletin.

Luke 2:10-12 (NIV)
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

But that wasn’t all. Then the sky was suddenly teeming with a heavenly choir of angels so large, a great company of the heavenly host, that their bright and shining garments obliterated the moon and the brightest of stars (all but one star that is) and they began to sing! Beautiful, rhythmic, harmonious music, as if they had been practicing for this moment for thousands of years. And indeed they had. “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men!”

I'm glad you took the time to read this. And I hope that surrounded by beautiful music, something will dawn on you this Christmas season. In all of the out of tune dissonance that we find in our world today, perhaps even in our lives today, the baby Jesus represents for us at this season, and all through the year, the One who brings beautiful music back into our lives. It is only through faith in Him that our lives, that our world makes any kind of sense.

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