The Song Remains the Same
I love music! My affinity began in the early 1970’s as a youth when I began listening to my older sister’s records. I was hooked.
At sixteen years of age I bought a used drum kit and put it in the garage of a friend. I was self-taught and had trouble keeping time, but that didn’t curb my enthusiasm. I would put on a pair of headphones, tune the stereo to a rock n roll radio station, and jam for hours at a time.
In college, drums and apartment complexes didn’t mix too well, especially to neighbors and and landlords, so I sold my drums and purchased a second hand guitar for $150. Several decades later, I still play it!
In my adult years I did a seventeen-month ministry tour, playing guitar and singing with a Jewish gospel band called the Liberated Wailing Wall with the ministry Jews for Jesus. Our team of traveling troubadours shared the gospel through music, drama, and testimony in churches, on college campus and when we were in big cities, on street corners and parks. If you’re wondering what that looks like, picture in your mind ‘Fiddler on the Roof meets Jesus’!Additionally, I’ve led worship and been part of worship teams in a variety of ministry settings throughout my Christian life of 35+ years.
Today, I enjoy a variety of Christian music, listen to jazz on occasion and very much like to have classical music in the background while writing. In fact, as I pen these words, the Felix Mendelssohn pandora station is playing soothing beautiful sounds gently in my room.
So there you have it – a brief autobiographical sketch of my music passion.
Some say music is the universal language, for it displays the fascinating character of transcendence. The meaning of the word “transcend” conveys the idea of extending beyond conventional limits. It is one medium of communication that reaches beyond language, culture, and eras of time. For throughout history, music has moved people with a unique quality.
God’s word, the Bible is also transcendent!
It’s God’s love letter to man and blueprint for reality. Yet, it also has a singular quality to move people from death to life, for “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
In our day of media abundance and technological tools, how we share it can be varied: via facebook and other social media, email, books, tracts, personal notes, via audio and video recordings and links, etc. We can also share His Word in a traditional fashion, reading open bibles together person to person. While there is no end to the delivery systems, the goal is to share the Word of God and let it do what it does – accomplish His will!
Consider the Parable of the Sower:
The Parable Proclaimed –
“Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:3-9).
The Parable Explained –
“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matthew 13:18-23).
In this parable, the variable is the soil, which is the condition of the human. But notice the seed, the Word of God, remains the same.
Whatever methodologies and strategies we may employ, at the end of the day, we must share the sweet sound of God’s Word with people we’re seeking to reach. For God tells us in Isaiah 55:10-11, “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
One mystery in the evangelistic process is the diverse response to God’s Word – throughout history God’s Word has evoked various responses among varied audiences in various circumstances. People have received it with great joy, rejected it with passionate opposition and everything in between!
Despite the uncertainty of response to His Word, this principle remains a constant for the Ambassador of Christ – the song remains the same in all ages, at all times and in all places. God calls His people to share the words of life with those who don’t know Jesus, who is “the life” (John 14:6).
Today, may your life amplify the sweet song of salvation to those in your sphere of influence and may you share the life-giving hope of God’s Word with people in your midst as God opens doors.
“Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works!” – (Psalm 105:2)