Our Symphonic God

I heard a great talk recently that stimulated in me a firestorm of insights. So I offer you here a hybrid of that talk and my mind:

God dispenses his gifts uniquely to each person in view of the whole, with an eye toward the flourishing of every person, and in a manner that requires of human beings mutual interdependence and abiding solidarity. In this sense God is like the author of a symphony who writes particular musical scores for each musician, or group of musicians, in a manner that complements the other scores written for the other musicians in the orchestra in order to produce a unified event of complex beauty

This metaphor translates into the way we must approach discernment of God’s will for each one of us. We must ask, ‘How can I, with the God-given gifts and desires, as well as the human limits and dissonances that constitute my life, contribute to the good of all? How can I be of service to the harmonious unfolding of God’s symphonic Kingdom within history, in this unique time and place?’

This consideration raises yet another point: How do I face the seeming uselessness of my sinfully discordant dissonances? How do these infidelities not irreparably detract from God’s beautiful symphony and sour the sweet melodies with me damnable cacophony?

Well, God is the Master Composer who, Lover of Beauty that He is, is both willing and able to resolve every dissonant note – especially those freely surrendered to his merciful love by each fumbling musician – into the first note of a new, sparkling and more magnificent movement within His still-unfinished symphony. This divine capacity to resolve dissonance was revealed with a most exquisite and ineffable artistry on the Cross, in the Tomb and on the third day as Christ, the Key Note of God’s new song, rose triumphant to lead the powers of heaven and the lowly of earth in deathless and unchained melodies.

If I had to choose an arrangement that strikes my fancy at this moment, reflecting aright this new divine song, it’d have to be this arrangement of the Hebrew wedding folk song Hava Nagila, “Let us Rejoice” that is embedded here:

A last word on this from my favorite theologian:

So in your harmony of mind and heart the song you sing is Jesus Christ. Every one of you should form a choir, so that, in harmony of sound through harmony of hearts, and in unity taking the note from God, you may sing with one voice through Jesus Christ to the Father. If you do this, he will listen to you and see from your good works that you are members of his Son. — St. Ignatius of Antioch, 108 A.D.

4 comments on “Our Symphonic God

  1. WoopieCushion says:

    I need to dance!

  2. Rosary Maker says:

    I always think of music as God’s first communication through creation. The hummingbirds – hum; the bees – buzz; the waves crashing into the shore – roar. All those many instruments provided which play to delight our humanity. Our thanksgiving for these musical encounters provides a harmony in what God provides. Let the symphony begin in our hearts!

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