April 14, 2016
Last night I had the privilege of closing out a dinner celebrating ten years of making music with the New Horizons Band. My prayer was prefaced by the following theological reflection on music.
On Father's Day 2012, I called my father to wish him a happy Father's Day. We talked for about 20 minutes, ending with me telling him I loved him. About three hours later, I received a phone call from my nephew telling me they when they woke dad from a nap to take a call from another nephew, he was talking incoherently; he had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and slipped into a coma. We made it to his bedside, but he never regained consciousness, dying within a matter of hours. Lest you think that was a terrible thing to happen on Father's Day, know that he was surrounded by his family...people he had loved all their lives, and who loved him in return.
But here's the wonderful thing about it all: Three months earlier I wouldn't have been able to have that conversation with dad. In later years he had grown increasingly deaf, and as he did so, we watched him slowly fade from life, retreating into a shadowland of silence because he couldn't be part of our conversations. I hadn't been able to talk to him on the phone for years. But in April that year, he received new digital hearing aids, and we literally watched him reborn. Hearing, he came alive again!
In the Creation story of the Jewish/Christian tradition, Light was the first thing created, but light isn't primary. Before even light, there was SOUND, as the voice of God reverberated through the vacant universe, "Let there be light!"
Sound is the stuff of Creation, and scientists tell us that the universe is literally buzzing with the vibrations of the atoms, quarks, and all that other stuff. And friends, we who make music have this amazing privilege of participating in the very act of Creation, partnering with God himself in the very stuff of life!
With that, let us pray:
Great and gracious God, thank you for the exquisite privilege we have of making joyful noise! Scripture tells us that at Creation, the morning stars sang together, and throughout your world, the trees clap their hands as the mighty waters roar in voluminous praise to you. For the past ten years, you have given us a great gift together, allowing us to join you in your creative activity, making music that can quiet inner demons and bring joy to troubled hearts.