Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

9.14.2010

All in a Major Key

Key of f minor, starting on the minor tonic chord, root position, with four beats per measure and the half note getting one beat. Notice those triplets! Starting with the introduction…now watch the leader for any rubato…go up an octave, add in an arpeggio for effect, modulate to f# minor, play octaves in the left hand, roll the final chord, and remember the “amen.”

As a musician, thoughts similar to these are almost always going through my brain when there is any congregational singing. I’m almost always sitting at the piano bench or holding a violin in my hand, and my job is to help guide the congregation towards worshipping God. Even when I’m singing, though, I’m busy watching the leader for cues, enunciating my ending consonants, and finding good spots to blend into harmony.

Music, for me, is definitely an opportunity to worship God and bring Him glory. Sometimes, however, my knowledge of every little facet and detail of the music distracts me from that worship. Occasionally, I’m so busy trying to facilitate everyone else’s worship, that I completely blaze past the quiet place of rest God wanted me to stop at.

The Scribes copied out Scripture day in and day out, tediously forming each letter precisely, for more than three inaccuracies warranted the disposal of an entire book. The Pharisees preserved Scripture and sought to carry it out to the letter, complete with their own “traditions.” Both groups possessed immense knowledge of the Old Testament that would put almost any twenty-first century Christian to shame. They taught their countrymen Scripture and imparted their vast knowledge to all who would listen. And yet, their mental collection of data so distracted them that they failed to collate it and recognize Jesus as the fulfillment of the prophecies they had copied, memorized, and taught. As a general group, they forgot the heart and emphasized the sacrifices.

There was a scribe, however, who asked Jesus in all sincerity what the greatest commandment of all was. And after Jesus’ reply, “…the scribe said to Him, ‘Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.’ Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ But after that no one dared question Him (Mark 12:32-34).”

There is always something to keep us from the kingdom of God, and it is often something good. Whether it is your love of music, your diligence at work, your desire for friends, your blog, your sweet children or family, or—yes, your study of Scripture—all things must come from a heart in love with God. If we are doing these things—these good things!—out of a sense of tradition, accomplishment, or duty, then we have missed the greatest commandment and the kingdom of God. When I play music without truly loving the Lord Jesus with my everything, I am only modulating, and transposing, and improvising—I am like the spiritual, knowledgeable, hypocritical scribes and pharisees. But when I accompany, or perform, or teach, or practice music with a heart overflowing with love for my Savior, then I am worshipping, glorifying, and adoring God, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

How is your heart today?



Photo Credit
"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

6 comments:

  1. Ah, thank-you for this post. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I also struggle with forgetting to worship as I help with the music - and in many other areas as well! Thank-you for the reminder to stop and re-focus.

    Blessings,
    ~Melody

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  2. Wow. That was very well said. I know what you mean. I can listen to all the worship music I want, imagine how I would impart a spiritual truth to a group of people or prepare a devotional to share with a bible study etc...
    But if I don't do it out of love for God, but instead out of love of self, or "doing well" or "performing" and getting lost in the details, it is all for not. I have let what was good turn out to be rags. I have let what God could have made gold turn into cheap pennies worth nothing except as a worldly sign of "shininess and beauty"...something that will fade and be no more.

    This was a good reminder to me that no matter what I do, it must be in the spirit of Love, self sacrafice and "All for the Glory of God", or it matter nothing.
    Thank you.

    -Rae <3

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  3. This is a great post Mikaela!
    Thank you for sharing,
    God Bless

    ~Abigail

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  4. Wow, that was an amazing correlation and a very powerful illustration. I've found this exact thing to be SO true in my own life time and again. I love to play for congregational's and often get wrapped up in making sure everything goes perfect so that no-one will be distracted, without realizing that I myself am distracted!
    Thanks for posting! <3

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  5. Melody and Jacqueline--I must conclude with Solomon that "there is no new thing under the sun (Ecc. 1:9)." However, it is such a comfort to discuss these things with each other and encourage each other in the Lord to focus on HIM and not technicalities. Thanks for that!

    Rae--you always have such pithy things to add! Your comment reminded me of I Corinthians 13:1: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." Actually, the parallel between the lack of love (Pharisees, me buried in the technicalities of music, and an empty clang) is striking!

    Abby--oh, you're welcome! I've been thinking of you and missing you and your family of late. Keep brightening your corner for Him!

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  6. This post was such a wonderful day to start this day. Makes you think beyond your little worries and troubles...Thank you for sharing!:-)

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