So last night in bible study we talked about God and how to describe him. The speaker (Rob Bell) in the video (titled “Rhythm” from the NOOMA series in case you are wondering) challenged us with how we view God and how we should view God. Some may see him as depicted by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, some others may look at ourselves and think that if we are made in his image then he MUST look like us, and yet others may think of other images. However, Rob Bell challenges us saying, God cannot be described physically; instead he sees God like a song that we have to tune ourselves to. Not to say that physical depictions, like the Sistine Chapel, should not have been made (it is important for those particular depictions to make sense and tell a story), but in reality, these depictions (no matter how awe inspiring and amazingly beautiful they can be) are inadequate to describe how God is in reality. That is why Rob Bell describes God like a song. A song has many components, physically we can read music sheets and play the instruments, but it is meaningless if it is not played accurately. To play a song accurately, it is important to play in the right key, at the right tempo and most importantly with the right FEELING.
God doesn’t just want us to play the right notes. Think about Jazz songs and the improv involved in them. Yes there are notes written out, but those are just guidelines, as long as your instrument is in tune and you play in the right key, then you could play any note that brings out the fullest in the song. Jesus often talked about this with the religious leaders of his time. They were all hitting the “right” notes, but there was no feeling in it. Jesus’ followers, however, sometimes played the “wrong” notes but they had the passion and really got into the feeling of God’s song. If you watch a professional orchestra, you will notice how they sound absolutely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! Even to people who know nothing about music, they can FEEL the music by listening and watching the musicians. If you watch soloists in an orchestra, they don’t just play the right notes rigidly, they move their body with the music and add feeling into their part. Sometimes you will even see facial expressions that help them evoke feelings into their solo. This is what makes songs so pleasing to listen to, it’s not just the notes played, it’s the feeling put into the music and the emotions that it evokes.
For those of you struggling to find out how to be in tune with God’s song, don’t worry. One of my bible study members said something that I think will help you. When asked, “Do you think that you are playing in tune with God?” He answered, “Not yet… I’m still listening and not playing.” Take some time to listen, but don’t take too long, because when performance time comes, you need to be ready. After you take some time to listen, start playing what you know. Even if it’s every few notes that you manage to play at first, overtime you will figure everything out and you can maybe even add some improv (in the right key mind you).
I want to share this song where God’s love is compared to a song. I hope that it inspires you today.