Daily Devotion 27 November 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Psalm 150 ‘Praise for God’s Surpassing Greatness’

1 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty firmament!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Many of you will have seen the remarkable story on the news recently about Paul Harvey from Crowborough, who suffers from dementia, and whose son Nick encouraged him to compose a piece on the piano using just four notes. It was released on 1st November with an accompaniment from the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. If you’ve heard it, you’ll almost certainly be astonished at the skill and sensitivity of the piece, and the circumstances of its composition. The proceeds from all sales will go to the charities Music for Dementia and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Music is a constant theme in the experience of ordinary people, and this is true for Christians, because it’s a way of responding to one’s world and understanding it, and helping us to relate to our Creator God. The theologian Karl Barth wrote of Mozart that, despite his somewhat superficial life: “He had heard, and causes those who have ears to hear, even today, what we shall not see until the end of time – the whole context of providence. He heard the harmony of creation…he did not merely produce his own music, but that of creation’s. He simply offered himself as the agent in which little pieces of wood, metal, and catgut would serve as the voice of creation. Mozart causes us to hear within its totality, creation praise its Master.”

In these darkening days, you and I need signs of hope and joy, and Paul Harvey’s story should surely encourage us all, whether or not we consider ourselves ‘musical’. Music is one of those places (and there are many others, of course) where we may feel that we can encounter God. For He is not just the supreme composer, unfolding the possibilities that has put into the universe; he is also the supreme accompanist – His Spirit working in and among his people to move us to love, to compassion, to giving and thus to joy and peace.

Prayer:

Loving God, in a world which can be disharmonious and disorganised,
we thank you that your Son Jesus Christ came to recreate
the true pattern of Christian living and lead us to harmony and peace.
Give us joy in our hearts in knowing that you are in all, through Jesus Christ, Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Barrie Tabraham.
Images freely available online.

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All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356