Getting it all right

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“You haven’t got it right!” says the exasperated piano teacher. Junior is holding his hands the way he’s been told. His fingering is unexceptionable. He has memorized the piece perfectly. He has hit all the proper notes with deadly accuracy. But his heart’s not in it, only his fingers. What he’s playing is a sort of music, but nothing that will start voices singing or feet tapping. He has succeeded in boring everybody to death, including himself.

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Jesus said to his disciples, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). The scribes and Pharisees were playing it by the book. They didn’t slip up on a single do or don’t. But they were getting it all wrong.

Righteousness is getting it all right.
If you play it the way
it’s supposed to be played,
there shouldn’t be a still foot
in the house.

–Frederick Buechner
Beyond Words

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Gifts of grace

Musicians

For a Christian to say, “I will not have anything to do with the great and worthy works of artists whose lives were not good” is to fall into the impiety of questioning the wisdom of God in bestowing gifts of grace where He wills.

–Frank Gaebelein 
(1899-1983)

Published in: on 04/09/2014 at 11:08  Leave a Comment  
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Whose idea was it?

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Music, wine, poetry, sunsets…those were his inventions, not ours. We simply discovered what He had already thought of. Lovers and honeymooners choose places like Hawaii, the Bahamas, or Tuscany as a backdrop for their love. But whose idea was Hawaii, the Bahamas, and Tuscany?”

–John Eldredge
Wild at Heart

Published in: on 08/23/2013 at 6:20  Leave a Comment  
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Oblivious to the concert

But so many Christians
are like deaf people at a concert.
They study the programme carefully,
believe every statement made in it,
speak respectfully of the quality of the music,
but only really hear a phrase now and again.
So they have no notion at all
of the mighty symphony
which fills the universe,
to which our lives are destined
to make their tiny contribution,
and which is the self-expression
of the Eternal God.

–Evelyn Underhill (1875 – 1941)

Three-fold Chords

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote many a choral piece for the Church, and the words of those pieces reflect his deep faith . . . Every part of Christian devotion is expressed in his music . . .

And yet, Bach’s music expresses the truth even when no words are used. The very order and logic of it speak of a universe ruled and governed by its Creator. Even more, Bach was able to put theology into the music itself.

. . . Arius, the fourth-century heretic . . . could not believe that it made any sense that Christians worship a God who is three Persons. The doctrine of the Trinity offended his sense of mathematical purity, a purity based upon a simplistic, undeveloped understanding.

. . . Athanasius, spent a lifetime refuting the error of Arius, and did so at great personal expense, going more than once into exile. For centuries, Christian theologians have refuted the Arian heresy, mostly by proving that the Trinity is a doctrine revealed clearly in the Scriptures and understood to be true by the Church in every age . . .

The Christian artist Johann Sebastian Bach did something, however, that theologians and scholars cannot do with all of the words of every language. Bach did not refute Arius; instead, he showed musically how the problem that vexed Arius could be solved. The “St. Anne” Fugue does not explain the truth; it demonstrates it with mathematical complexity, and yet with the simplicity of genius.

Is the “St. Anne” Fugue one or three? The answer, which every ear can hear for itself, is that “these three are one.”

-adapted from Robert Hart

Read more: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=17-08-014-v#ixzz1w0X0oPhj

The Rhythm of the Trinity

Father, Son, and Spirit . . . [are engaged in a] dance which is their life together, a dance without beginning and without end, a dance which is joy beyond all telling.

. . . The music of this eternal dance echoes in the vast reaches between the stars, and pulses in worlds inside of atoms, and travels on every breeze across the earth, and surges with the blood through our veins. From time to time, we hear the music of this eternal dance. During the silences when everything makes sense; during the celebrations when we taste a bit of heaven . . . When we are thankful for what we’ve been given, proud of what we’ve done, hopeful about what the future holds. It is on these great and good occasions that we hear the music of the eternal dance, the rhythm of the Trinity . . .

The Trinity is unending, joyous dance, yet the miracle is that the circle breaks open, and the Son and Spirit, still holding hands with the Father, extend their other hands to us, inviting us into the circle, drawing us into the dance, that we may become their partners, participants in their life.

–Author unknown

Published in: on 05/20/2012 at 16:12  Leave a Comment  
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Love, life and beauty

The triune God
is the love behind all love,
the life behind all life,
the music behind all music,
the beauty behind all beauty.

–Mike Reeves

Published in: on 04/30/2012 at 10:01  Leave a Comment  
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