Music Hall

2003_germanswitzerland_0280Then David spoke to the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their relatives the singers, with instruments of music, harps, lyres, loud sounding cymbals, to raise sounds of joy. (1 Chronicles 15:16 NASB) 

I think I starting singing when I came out of the womb. At the time it sounded like singing to me and screaming to my parents. By the time I was five I started taking piano lessons. At about eleven I conned a neighbor into teaching me how to play the guitar. He was a professional guitar player with a black and white television. We had color. The bargain was, he taught me a lesson each week and we let him watch his favorite television show, Star Trek, in color. I think it was a good bargain. Since then I’ve taken every opportunity to sing, play and enjoy the wonders of music.

I’m not alone in my quest for the soul swaying strains of that perfect blend of harmony and melody. In Germany, King Ludwig II, the fairy-tale king, built a marvelous castle named Neuschwanstein. It’s rumored the castle in Disneyland was based on Ludwig’s masterpiece. I’ve seen both and Disneyland is not quite the same.

Sitting atop Jugend, replacing the ruins of two previous castles, the structure is spectacular. Walking through the front gates is like walking into a fairy-tale castle. Unlike other fortresses designed by men of war; Neuschwanstein was designed by an opera stage designer. It’s romantic looking but incomplete. Ludwig was arrested before the final stages of construction and died shortly afterward of dubious circumstances.

People travel from around the globe to visit this imposing site and so, along with close friends, we joined the throng of tourists. It was a dream holiday for a castle lover such as myself. With our friends we toured the interior, room by room.

Each lavishly decorated room captured our interest and ignited our imagination. Electricity, central heat and other modern ideas came to life in this old world fortress. In the middle of our tour we were ushered into the Singers Hall. The tour guide expounded eloquently with praises for its superb construction and audio acoustic quality.

We gawked at the precision construction punctuated by beautifully painted panels depicting scenes from the legend of Grail King Parsival, the father of Lohengrin. Phil, my friend, and I looked at each other and had the same thought, let’s sing! We inhaled, stood up straight, opened our mouths ready to bring forth a beautiful song. Our wives, on the other hand, looked a bit concerned as they recognized a dangerous look of mischief in our expressions.

Before they could say anything, or undergo the embarrassment of our singing in the middle of a tour, we caught the look of fear in their eyes, our senses took over, and we closed our mouths and exhaled slowly. We remained quiet and could hear the smallest noise. Each breath, each step, each syllable spoken was heard clearly anywhere in the room. It was magnificent.

God created music as a glorious means of praise and worship. With all the hoopla and bantering about musical styles, instruments and tempo, we forget God put music into our hearts to praise Him. Musicians and singers were appointed for the tabernacle and continued their magnificent ministrations in the temple. We appoint singers in our churches. During the course of a day we often break into choruses and songs. As we walk through the Christian life melodies of praise rise up to lighten our step and draw us closer to God’s side.

Our praise reaches God’s ears as he sits in the perfect throne room of heaven. No earthly engineer could hope to approach the spectacular acoustical precision surrounding God’s faultless ears. The beauty of Heaven’s throne room makes our most precious paintings appear as childish scrawls. The most carefully engineered auditorium on earth can’t compare with the perfect sound of God’s children as their songs of praise reverberate in heaven.

As we sing, even those without earthly musical perfection, God hears every breath, every beat of our heart, every syllable of our song of worship. They are perfect to His ears. They fill His heavenly heart with joy. They reach his throne as an offering of fragrant aroma. This is the joy of lifting our voices to praise our creator, our strength, our God!

Still, when we are silent, God can hear every footstep we make, every thump of our heart, every ache which cries out to Him. It’s a different melody but the perfection of His throne room turns it into beautiful music in His ears.

Next time I’m silent I’ll let my heart sing to the Lord in heaven. I’ll let the footsteps of my life bring a melody to God’s heart. I’ll know He’s listening. It’ll be worth it all.

Next time I’m in a beautiful place, inspired to sing and moved with God’s presence I don’t think I’ll hesitate. I’ll open my mouth and sing my Lord’s praises. Let those around me think I’m strange. What does that matter if God is praised, if He is worshiped, if His name is lifted in the miracle of music before His throne. It will be worth it all.

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