Tuesday, June 23, 2015

God's Second-Greatest Gift to Humanity

After a movie ends most people head off to the exits. Do you ever stick around to watch the credits? I started doing this after watching the Star Wars movies, after they first came out. No, I didn't stick around because I was dying of curiosity to know who the grip and the gaffer were.

I stayed because I wanted to hear that amazing movie music one last time.

From the very first scene in the movie, that incredible music caught my attention. When I heard that thrilling theme resume at the close of the movie, I had to hang around and enjoy it again -- and see who the composer was. That's the first time I became acquainted with John Williams.

Monday we lost another great movie music composer: James Horner. The two-time Oscar award- winning composer died at the age of 61 when his small plane crashed near Santa Barbara, California. The list of movies he composed music for is quite impressive: Titanic, Braveheart, Avatar, Star Trek II, An American Tail, A Beautiful Mind, Field of Dreams, Legends of the Fall, Enemy at the Gates, Aliens, Glory, and one of my favorites, Apollo 13.

The list goes on and on.

When you take a great movie and wed it with the right music, the effect is magical. The music taps into our heart and soul, stirs our emotions, and draws us into the plight of the characters on the screen before us.

Martin Luther thought highly of music as well. "Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world." And undoubtedly recalling the great psalmist David playing the lyre to calm King Saul's tortured mind, Luther wrote, "Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us."

In my opinion, God's greatest gift to us is His Word, in which we learn of the glorious salvation Jesus won for us, and through which the Holy Spirit works saving faith in us. But I think music is His second gift, especially when the words and promises of God are set within beautiful, powerful, inspiring music.

It is that marriage between Word and music which makes Christian hymns, carols and songs come alive. Pass that music through the filter of life -- all its highs and lows, its gains and losses, its pleasures and pains -- and Christian music takes on a depth, grandeur and awe I sometimes find overwhelming. Certain hymns remind me of my dear departed mother and father; others recall joyous moments from childhood; others we chose for our wedding, but since have taken on new meaning and depth as we have passed through the years together; still others are connected to my son.

Sometimes the emotions they stir in me are too strong to control: my voice quivers, breaks and finally falls silent in prayer and adoration before my God and Father. But music always snaps me out of my earth-bound trance and draws my soul up to heaven where God's glory and radiance shimmer and shine.

What is your favorite song, carol or hymn?

You can click here and tell us about it.

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