Too many long and heavy posts here just now. Not surprising, it's a heavy world just now. But time for a change on note, tone, pace and sound. As I just told my Facebook friends, I'm preaching this morning on Music Therapy! I Samuel 18.1-11 where David clearly displeases one of the X factor judges, and Acts 16.16-34.
When the discordant circumstances of life, the cacophony of voices pulling and pushing us, or the remorseless electronic beeps of a life too full of connectivity are ignored, and we choose to praise, look for reasons to be grateful and to wonder. Like Paul and Silas in ACts 16, "jammin' and singin'" in chains, on a cold stone floor at midnight.......
The photo was taken in Vienna, Mozart is one of my favourite musical therapists - I have a one hour journey each way - time for the clarinet concerto - then on the way home the very best of Emmy Lou Harris.
This week the posts will pick up on Charles Wesley's rock concert approach to life when he gets carried away by the music and throws his crown at the feet of Jesus, "lost in wonder, love and praise." Let's start there! I know Christian life was never meant to be a lifelong rock concert for rockers, or a lifelong symphony for classical buffs, or a lifelong (Lord help us) country western ballad for us country music fans. But to think of worshipping God as being present at a live concert of our favourite music, played or sung by those artists who can stir our soul, who can make us laugh or cry and either way shed tears, and just occasionally take our understanding of ourselves and our lives and of the love of God, to a new level or a new depth - that would be music therapy.
Here's one that does it for me - every time. For my fortieth birthday Sheila bought me a pre-digital Technics sound system. The first CD I played on it contains this track. It reverberated throughout our granite built house and I could feel it vibrate in my bones - it still lifts me into those secret places of emotional inner expression where prayer, worship, loss and longing, sadness and joy, weariness and vitality, merge into a sense of something vaster than me, which enlarges, heals and summons us towards that which finally and fully allows us to be who we are.
Jessye Norman, singing the Sanctus from Gounod