Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ode to Joy

Do you ever have those moments? You're singing something you sang all your life, and suddenly it expoldes with meaning. Well, a couple of weeks ago at church, it happened. We were sing the second verse of Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee - aka Ode to Joy since it was set to the Beethoven musical piece by that title.

So we were on the second verse, and....
All Thy works with joy surround Thee
Earth and heaven reflect Thy rays.
Stars and angels sing around Thee
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flowery meadow, flashing sea
Singing bird and fountain, 
Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Yes! They all call us to rejoice in him. And I was overwhelmed by that thought.

It hit me at that moment what I was signing about. The verse is a list attributes - attributes of God's creation. Things in which we can find joy if we just slow down and pay attention. Stars. Fields. Forests. Mountains. Meadows. Seas. Birds singing. Streams flowing.

All beautiful. All wonderful creations. And - most importantly - all pointing to their Creator. All of them exist for one bring glory and honor to God. This is the purpose of every good gift.

Every good gift. As the verse starts: All thy works with joy surround thee. All.

And the list could go on. Music, Art. Color. Language. Sports. Technology. On and on.

Where we mess up is when we start to take these good gifts for granted. When we start to forget the One who gave them to us. When we allow them to become the focus of our lives instead of something God provided to point to himself. There's a word for that...idolatry. And it's the essence of sin.

But they are good. And they call us to rejoice in him. If only for a few moments when we were singing this song, I got that.

Lord, let me never forget it. May I always allow Your gifts to point to You.

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