Sometimes my young friends like to post snippets of lyrics to songs in the status box on Facebook. My first reaction is often, “Are you OK, honey?” Then I figure it out – a song has spoken to their heart.
But it has not spoken to mine, and out of context it sounds, well, a little weird. Since I don’t know the song and have no emotional connection to it, the words are often just an interesting record of something that means something to somebody else. Thanks for sharing.
Photos can be like that too. I have my grandmother’s photos here, black and white records of her unnamed friends standing in front of grey rose bushes long since scattered in the wind. I can appreciate that they had deeper meaning to her than they do to me, and I suppose I kept them around out of respect for the things that were important to her, but now I’m paring them down and storing the more interesting ones in waterproof boxes.
For many years I was surrounded by people who told me about the wonderful things God has said. The Bible records them. I read them for myself. But for many years when someone quoted a verse of scripture it felt like reading lyrics to somebody elses favourite song.
Then I heard the Singer. I heard the Song.
The difference between studying the Bible and hearing the Voice of the Lord for oneself is like the difference between reading the lyrics and hearing the song.
John, the disciple who rested his head on Jesus’ chest, understood. Jesus came, not as more lyrics, but as the song. He told the religious people who studied the puzzling snippets of lyrics they had, that they were about Him, and that there was more to a song than written words. But they had to let go of their “expertise” to hear -and for many that was troubling.
There is more, so much more, to this relationship with God. The difference between reading about the King of the Universe and going for a walk with him is like the difference between looking at photo of the memory of grey roses and actually touching and smelling colourful living roses.
John understood the lyrics when he heard the Voice sing the song:
Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking.
The Voice was and is God.
This celestial Word remained ever present with the Creator;
His speech shaped the entire cosmos.
Immersed in the practice of creating,
all things that exist were birthed in Him.
His breath filled all things
with a living, breathing light—
A light that thrives in the depths of darkness,
blazes through murky bottoms.
It cannot and will not be quenched.
(The good news of John, chapter one, The Voice)
The Bible is a divinely inspired record of wonderful lyrics. But lyrics alone are not the Song our hearts long to hear. What is He singing over you?
Colla voce. Follow the Voice.