A Musical Heart
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” These words by Aldous Huxley speak to my soul. Despite what we know about God through Jesus Christ, God remains an ineffable mystery, yet music has a profound ability to pierce the veil between the earthly and the divine. Through music, we’re given glimpses of God’s glorious nature and promised kingdom. That’s why music is so integral to Christian worship. Our worship begins, ends, and is sustained with music. Furthermore, our hymns bring scripture to life in music, allowing us to better know both the words and the hope of scripture.
One hymn that I particularly love and mentioned in the podcast is “In a Deep, Unbounded Darkness.” Based on an anonymous Chinese poem and set to a chant-like tune, this hymn highlights God’s movement during Creation, God’s covenant promise to us, and the many ways God has revealed God’s self through Jesus Christ and the ancestors of our faith. The tune is aptly named Divinum Mysterium, of course meaning “Divine Mystery,” and it has a very fluid sense of movement - rising and falling with each breath and phrase - like waves breaking gently against the shore. The very last words of each stanza are “evermore and evermore,” reminding us of God’s eternal love for us. This version with guitar and solo voice allows the music and text to speak plainly and makes room for each of us to connect and participate with the divine mystery that is the God we know and love in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
In what ways does God speak to you through music, both in worship and through hymns but also in secular music? No matter who you are or what you believe, I pray that you will find a way to connect with the divine mystery through music.
Peace be with you,
Rev. Andrew Frazier