The Role of Music

We only planned on staying for a couple of hours. We ended up staying until they pushed us out the door. We were exploring what we discovered to be the number one attraction in Phoenix, the Musical Instrument Museum.

We were given headphones, and told to begin in the African section. Each display contained examples of the instruments used in that particular country, and the video gave us a taste of what it was like. We ended up spending too much time in Africa, and had to rush through Europe and North American.

The stated mission of the museum is to foster “appreciation of the world’s diverse cultures by showing how we innovate, adapt, and learn from each other to create music—the language of the soul.” And Marilyn and I quickly noted that much of the music did have an integral relationship with the religions of each region. Others have noted that as well.

I recently read that the Taliban, while not formally banning music, has been stopping performances and destroying instruments. Augustine noted that arts and music kindle desire which finds its home in God. Apparently the Taliban is afraid the God that music opens the heart to is not always the god they want worshipped. The question we must ask ourselves is are we letting music open our hearts to God?

God told Job that the morning stars sang together when He laid the foundations of the earth, and in Revelation we learn that the four living creatures and twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb and sang a new song. Psalm 22 prefigures much that happened on the cross of Jesus, and the writer of Hebrews paraphrases verse 22 by saying “In the midst of the congregation I will sing Thy praise.”

I trust that will be true of us all on Easter Sunday morning.

God Bless, Rick

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