The Gift of Music
The Gift of Music
Jacob Schneider, our guest blogger today, writes about the joy of finding the thing God created him to do. Jacob also wrote about the joy he finds in making music in his meditation that appeared in The Upper Room magazine for March 19, 2012.
Did you know that God is a musician? It’s true. In Zephaniah 3:17-18 we find, “The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival.” (NRSV)
It should be no surprise that God is a singer. After all, we were created in God’s image. All our abilities are modeled after God’s, so if we can sing, it’s because the Master Musician can sing, too. (Wouldn’t you like to hear God’s singing voice? What a sound that must be!)
God speaks to people through music in ways that mere words cannot. Music has a powerful eloquence matched by nothing else. Reciting lyrics to a hymn may get the author’s point across, but singing that same hymn can touch our hearts. During worship, music can stir our emotions more than even the most persuasive of speakers!. (I’ve often wondered how much more effective a sermon could be if the pastor were to sing it to the congregation.)
Music inspires praise, repentance, service, evangelism, and love. It provides comfort, peace, contentment and rest. It can lift us to heights of joy or reduce us to depths of sorrow. And because of this indelible link to our emotions, music is a powerful conduit for the Gospel message. Who can sing “Just As I Am” without acknowledging Christ’s sacrifice and the need to repent? Who can sing “Amazing Grace” without feeling gratitude for God’s limitless love? Who can hear Handel’s “Hallelujah!” without being overwhelmed by the glory and majesty of the Lord? And if God through music will so deeply and richly bless us, imagine how intensely God connects a musician to his or her art!
“Music is a fair and glorious gift of God,” said Martin Luther. I can’t argue with that, since God has most certainly blessed me over and over again with the marvelous, “glorious gift” of music. By its nature, music must be shared; music requires a music-maker and an audience. And while I enjoy listening to others make music, I need to be the music-maker myself. Not because I have ambitions to be the center of attention – far from it. God has placed within me a certain measure of musical ability that I must use for its Creator’s glory. When I do that, I honor God for this gift and serve God by using it to minister to others. I feel closest to God when I am making music because at those times I’m absolutely certain I am doing the very thing I was created to do.