Music: Good for the Body

The unity of the Body of Christ is not a bland, undifferentiated uniformity, but a rich and manifold concord. Music is uniquely equipped to provide an aural image of this kind of community, in which union is not unanimity, nor multiplicity a cacophony. With every resonant sonority, music testifies to the possibility of this sort of life.

Music provides a compelling sounding image of life together; but it is a shared life in which the distinctive voice of the individual is not negated by communion with the other. In music, we encounter identity which preserves particularity. As we sing together, different sounds—your voice, and mine—occupy the same time and the same space, without obstructing or negating one another.

—Stephen R. Guthrie, “Singing, in the Body and in the Spirit,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 46/4 (December 2003), 645, 643

True Greatness

“Greatness is equated [by the world, and by us too often] with doing something large, in a notable way, as fast as you can. That mindset is burning a lot of us out. But when we come to the gospel of Jesus, it’s almost like He is saying, ‘Follow Me, and learn to do small things, slowly, over a long period of time.'”

“We are taught to sprint . . . but most things that matter to us in life are marathons (marriage, relationships, vocation, skills).”

“We’re trying to approach sacred things that take a long cultivation—we’re trying to approach them with haste, speed—and it’s not working for us.”

“Words like ‘haste’ are associated with folly in Scripture; the words associated with wisdom are like ‘waiting, patience.'”

–Zack Eswine

A Prayer

Grant us, we beseech Thee, Almighty and most merciful God, fervently to desire, wisely to search out and perfectly to fulfil, all that is well-pleasing unto Thee this day. Order Thou our worldly condition to the glory of Thy Name; and, of all that Thou requires us to do, grant us the knowledge, the desire, and the ability, that we may so fulfil it as we ought; and may our path to Thee, we pray, be safe, straightforward, and perfect to the end.

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know Thee, diligence to seek Thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace Thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

–Thomas Aquinas

We Love Because He First Loved Us

Savior, teach me day by day
Love’s sweet lesson to obey,
With a child’s glad heart of love
At Thy bidding may I move,
Quick to serve and follow Thee,
Loving Him Who first loved me.

Teach me thus Thy steps to trace,
Strong to follow in Thy grace,
Love in loving finds employ
,
In obedience all her joy;
Learning how to love from Thee,
Loving Him Who first loved me.

Sweeter lesson cannot be,
Loving Him Who first loved me.
Thus may I rejoice to show
That I feel the love I owe;
Singing, till Thy face I see,
Of His love Who first loved me.

–adapted from Jane Leeson, 1842 (can be sung to the tune of “For the Beauty of the Earth”)

Only Thee

Blessèd Savior, Thee I love,
All my other joys above;
All my hopes in Thee abide,
Thou my Hope, and naught betide;
Ever let my glory be,
Only, only, only Thee.

Once again beside the cross,
All my gain I count but loss;
Earthly pleasures fade away,
Clouds they are that hide my day;
Hence, vain shadows! let me see
Jesus, crucified for me.

Blessèd Savior, Thine am I,
Thine to live, and Thine to die;
Height or depth, or creature power,
Ne’er shall hide my Savior more;
Ever shall my glory be,
Only, only, only Thee.

–George Duffield, 1851 (can be sung to the tune of “For the Beauty of the Earth”)