Life Between the Songs

Since I frequently tell my grandchildren that it’s always a good day when they learn something new, I thought I should walk my talk. So, for the last three months I’ve been slowly learning to play the saxophone. Shortly after purchasing my sax, I enrolled in some online lessons that have helped me learn to finger the notes and sound less like a squawking duck. (My neighborhood is happy about that.)

Just recently, I discovered a site with sheet music for a wide assortment of instruments. It contains thousands of songs, each re-written several times for a variety of skill levels. However, the best part about this site is the technology that allows someone like me to slow things down, listen to how the notes should be played, and even put a more difficult section on repeat until it’s mastered. Each song also has a backing track that makes me feel like I’m playing with a band. I’m not sure anyone ever achieves perfection when playing a musical instrument, but it sure is fun learning.

In bible study circles, any time something is first mentioned it usually means a precedent is being set that we should pay close attention to. Moses offered up the very first song in Scripture. It celebrated the freedom the Hebrews experienced after God delivered them from their slavery in Egypt. Moses sang, “The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him.” (Exodus 15:2a CSB)

It was no insignificant thing that victorious freedom was the topic of the first recorded song in the Bible. The Exodus story, unquestionably the most referenced event in all of Scripture, 

  • set up God’s people as a holy nation, 
  • spectacularly displayed the mighty power of God, and
  • proclaimed freedom for the slaves. 

It is the Bible’s most-referenced event that points us directly to the coming Messiah. 

Jesus entered the world with the angels singing, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2:14) The life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus holds the title for being most important. “So Christ has TRULY set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (Galatians5:1 NLT, emphasis mine)

Don’t get tied up again! How many times do we do that? Many of us live between the song of Moses and the song of the angels. Even though we’ve chosen relationship over religion, we sometimes forget to sing the new song we’ve been given. We have won our freedom, been delivered from so many things, and walked out of sin right into the Promised Land, but, like the Israelites, we can’t seem to stay free. We take our eyes off the most important event that set us free, and we forget Jesus’ words recorded in God’s sheet music: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)

When it comes to our own personal spiritual walk, God intended learning to be a lifelong symphony. He handed us a holy book with all the sheet music we’ll ever need to learn. He sent Jesus to play the music for us so that we could learn His “unforced rhythms of grace”. Then, if all that were not enough, He gave us the Holy Spirit to help us know when we need to slow things down or speed them up. That sweet, sweet Spirit helps us examine our difficult sections of life as many times as it takes for us to master His tune. Then, as another expression of love, God placed us in a church family so that we never have to play a solo. We get to enjoy the accompaniment of others. Sometimes, they fill in our missing notes; other times we fill in theirs. Yet, together, we make beautiful music. 

None of us will ever play our song to perfection until Jesus comes.While we wait, let’s obediently follow the Spirit’s tempo, not running ahead or behind. Let’s keep our eyes and ears keenly tuned to the notes Jesus has already played. Let’s be quick learners when the difficult parts are put on repeat because …

IT’S ALWAYS A GOOD DAY WHEN YOU LEARN SOMETHING NEW!

************

By the way, happy birthday to my daughter, Jennifer! She plays God-music everywhere she goes.

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