The raw emotion of music…
I saw a picture. It had twenty musicians on it who are all dead, and the caption was, “If you could see any one of these musicians live, who would it be.
What I found interesting was that with the exception of Beethoven all of the musicians were people from the last 50 years give or take. Most of the comments were stereotypical answers; Hendrix, Queen, Michael Jackson, etc…
However instantly I knew without question who I wanted to see. I wanted Beethoven. You see, with every other musician on the list we have recordings, some even video of them performing.
Beethoven is different. He never recorded his own music. All we have from him is sheet music. The recordings we listen to are someones interpretation of his work. I wonder what it sounded like the first time Beethoven sat down at a piano and played the first few notes of Fur Elise?
Can you imagine what it was like hearing it for the first time. To us it is a familiar tune. We have heard it time and time again. Its so familiar that most people can hum it without thinking.
But when we hear it played, it is always someone other than Beethoven at the piano. What would it be like to sit with Him and see his face as he struck the keys. To watch his passion as he furiously let his fingers dance across the piano. We will never know for sure, but I imagine it was magical. That is why His music is still being played all over the world today.
I however often feel this way of theologians as well. I never got to hear a sermon from the Wesley’s, or John Calvin, or Athanasius, or Paul, Peter, John, etc… I know what they believed based solely on their writings, but what would it be like to have actually been there and heard them as they preached.
I would love to see the look on people’s faces when Peter first explained the power of Pentecost. Or to watch as Jesus shared his heart to the people when He preached the sermon on the mount. In our reading, we can become so familiar with the text that we often forget its passion. Beethoven had passion and we will never see it. But we can get a glimpse of it in the recordings people have done of his work.
There is a raw emotion in music, that is amazing to capture. Yet, the raw emotion of the Christian faith is overwhelmingly beautiful. It goes beyond all our imagination. Beethoven’s passion was his blood, sweat, and tears, poured into music. For Christ, His blood, Sweat, and Tears were poured out on the ground for all the earth. This raw emotion, this passion, this is what drove every great man of the faith. It caused us to push farther and pursue longer.
Sometimes, in our intellectual society I think we lose the raw nature of the emotion. I think it might serve us well to take a moment and get raw. To let the honest emotion of the cross overwhelm us again. Especially as we are coming up to the time of the year where we celebrate, and remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The Passion of Christ.
Take a moment this week and let that passion, that raw emotion overwhelm you and don’t suppress the emotions you feel. If you need to weep, then let the tears flow. If you need to shout, then shout it out. If you need to fall at His feet as though you were dead, you are in good company. But please, let the raw emotion of the Passion of Christ move you.