The Eighth Note…
God’s people were living in captivity when the Psalmist ask a despairing question, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:4) Today many are living in a season of despair and bondage… and singing to the Lord and making melody in our hearts can be challenging just like it was for Israel in an age of bondage, suffering and struggles. So, how do you sing in a season like we are experiencing? Well, a little bit of music education might remind us of how we can sing a new song in a “foreign land”; in a place we’ve never been before.
Stephen Kingsley writes, “Music adds so much to life, and it's all built upon just seven notes (A, B, C, D, E, F, G). We often think a music scale has eight notes (the number of notes in an octave), but the eighth is only a repeat of the first. For example, in the common scale of C-major, the scale begins with C (or Doh) and ascends to D, E, F, G, A, B, and then, once again, to C. Having heard the scale so often beginning with C and ending with C, it makes us very uncomfortable to hear it with just seven notes.”
Like me, I bet many of you learned the musical scale when you were young. But sing it with just the seven notes without ending as we normally do with a repeat of the beginning note Doh. Try it! It goes like this… "Doh, Ray, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti” Notice how incomplete it feels? There is a kind of tension that hangs… a kind of lack that makes the scale feel incomplete.
Well like an incomplete scale, life is full of tension, uncomfortable moments, unanswered questions, and unresolved conflicts. The fact is, right now we are living our lives very much in need of that eighth note. What is the “eighth note” for us? It is God. Like the music scale, He is both the beginning and the ending, the alpha and the omega. And only as we live our lives between the God of our beginning and the God of our ending do we find peace to the tensions and issues of life.
Kingsley adds, “God has given us a means of resolution to all the stresses of life through our Lord Jesus Christ. He doesn't promise to solve all problems, answer all questions, or resolve all conflicts in this life. Yet, if we will listen in the Spirit, we can always turn to Him and hear that eighth note, knowing that a day is coming when we shall know fully as we are fully known. Every incomplete thing will be fulfilled; all things will be resolved.”
It may not all make sense to us now, but it will one day… The scripture says, "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known" (1 Corinthians 13:12). God is still working to complete His master plan and because He is, we can sing a new song and bless His name in spite of the circumstances around us. We can sing the song of the Psalmist in Psalm 96…
“Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’” (Psalm 96:1–10)
THAT IS OUR SONG TO SING and as you do, remember that God is always trying to take us someplace new. I love being your Pastor!
For God’s Glory Alone,