Creation 1 ~ Psalm 57:7-11 (et al)
Celebrating the Season of Creation is gaining steam in our churches and for good reason. A functional reason is that it gives us a nice thematic focus that breaks up the very long church season called Pentecost. But more than that it reminds us that while digging into the bible is our primary mode of engagement for theological wisdom and grounding it is not our only source.
One of the key concepts of Christianity is incarnation, but it’s so much more than just the unique way that God was present in Jesus. Incarnation, deep incarnation, means that the Spirit of God isn’t just “out there and far away” but is also embedded in and flowing through everything and everyone we encounter. The Season of Creation gives us a chance to be poetic and metaphorical and really enjoy the sacredness of this world where we live and move and have our being.
Today our poetic theme is music! We imagine Creation saying to us “Enjoy my songs!” The bible is chock full of examples of God’s people enjoying God’s songs.
Exodus 15:20 – Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing
Luke 15:25 – Now, his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.
Ephesians 5:19–20 – Be filled with the Spirit as you sing psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God.
Isaiah 55:12 – For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
And in all sorts of psalms like these verses from Psalm 98 – Sing a new song unto God, who has done such marvellous things…Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord. (Psalm 98:1, 4-6).
And our focus scripture today, Psalm 57:7-11 – My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make melody. Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn. I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
Many of you have heard me say this before: I think music just may be the ultimate metaphor for God. Music, like God, is a concept and a reality at the same time. It’s knowable and yet mysterious. It manifests itself in myriad ways and no single expression comes close to capturing the totality of it. You can try to block it or drown it out but you cannot escape its presence. It’s both utterly complex and warmly pleasing and accessible at the same time. It has the ability to communicate simultaneously on an emotional, physical and intellectual level. And the experience of hearing music (and God) is completely unique to each person and yet also common to each. read on