Some time ago I arranged for the Bible Readings at my current church to be read with some reflective music playing in the background. I really love this effect. It helps me to listen better and reflect deeper on the passage. I had studied the Bible several years before with the Bible Society’s tapes where the Bible was accompanied by music, and I wanted to recreate this as I had found it so helpful. I have to say this went down like a lead balloon with some people who bitterly complained that it was a distraction and, in complete contrast to how I felt, claimed they couldn’t focus on the words at all.
When I was growing up my older sister could always be found in our family’s backroom playing the piano. There always seemed to be music playing in my home. In her teens my sister collected the magazine “Classical Composer” each week, and so I was raised on Mozart, Shubert, Beethoven, Brahms, etc. These long playing records were often played on our rather large radiogram, which occupied most of one wall in the lounge. It had an Am/Fm/Shortwave radio on the front, record player on one side, and my Dad had put a reel to reel tape player in there too. State of the art is was in the 60’s. Music I soon discovered had a profound effect on me. Some of the music used to make me feel jolly and lift the spirit, while other pieces I would have to leave the room as they quite seriously touched my soul. I remember sitting on the stairs as I didn’t want anyone to know I was crying, and I sat there listening with tears rolling down my face. When this happened I seemed to have no control of myself, and I could do nothing about it, as I was moved to the core of my being.
I remember the funeral for one of my many hamster. I was in the back garden having dug a small hole for my dearly departed pet, as my sister was practicing a piece of classical music on the piano in the back room. I have no idea what the piece is called but this was the musical soundtrack to that day and as I stood there alone aged about 8 years old saying goodbye to my little friend, this music brought me comfort and peace. I can still bring it to mind now.
I do want to conclude these Lent reflections and thank God for the music. Music that has often lifted my soul, allowed me to worship, dance and sing, yes, music has indeed energised me. On occasions it has brought me to a place where I listen better and am more sensitive to what is going on around me; and still other times it has simply just given me permission to break my heart and release that pent up emotion, the music being the trigger to let it all flow out.
Thank you too for reading these Lent Reflections. It has helped me to remember everyday something of God’s goodness to me, and my prayer is that you too have been caused to celebrate God’s amazing faithfulness to you.
And so my life goes on…. with the music of Stevie, Barbra, Karen and Richard, Abba , The Beatles, Rutter, Redman and so many others playing in the background. And as tomorrow dawns I can declare again that “ Jesus is alive” and the music will allow be to celebration and praise Him like nothing else ever could.
Thank You Father, for the music, the songs I’m singing, thanks for all the joy they’re bringing. Who can live without it? I ask in all honesty, what would life be? Without a song and dance what are we? So I say thank you for the music- for giving it to me!
Jesus – during this Lenten season and through the rest of my life – remind me again and again that you are even closer than the music.
Lord hear us – Lord graciously hear us!