I want to include some thoughts in the blog that I wasn’t able to address in the weekend message. Here’s one that is interesting to me:
We learned this weekend that God was present at creation, not just in the person of the Father, but also of the Son and the Spirit. Genesis 1 tells us:
- In the beginning God created. This is God the Father.
- And God said, “Let there be light.” This is God the Son, a.k.a. The Word.
- And the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. This is God the Spirit.
In a class I once took with Leonard Sweet, he pointed out that the term “hover” can mean to tremble or flutter. It can refer to a vibration. He wondered if this vibration made a sound, like humming.
Was there music at the creation?
Sometimes I wonder about the artistic elements of life:
- The things that inspire us.
- The things that drive our worship.
- The things that elicit a response of awe, wonder, pleasure, joy, and thoughtfulness.
I believe they were present at creation. Light was the first thing God created. But if the Spirit was humming, then sound was present even before that. Light and sound are our two most basic expressions of art.
Light brought color and shadow. When God called for light, he was calling for blues and reds, yellows, greens, purples and browns. He brought out a pallet that painters would use forever after. The beginnings of human creativity were expressed in the call for light.
And shadow? We often think of shadows as darkness. In that vein darkness could not have been in the creation before the Rebellion of Adam and Eve. We think of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But shadows are not evil. They give texture. They present depth. They are part of art. A painter without shadows could never become a Rembrandt.
And what about that humming sound? The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. The water—which amplifies sound—may have carried the noise around the aquatic globe. And what if it wasn’t just noise, but the beginning of music? In its least inspiring definition, music is the skillful arrangement of selected vibrations. Or how about this from dictionary.com: any sweet, pleasing or harmonious sounds. As an example dictionary.com gives “the music of the waves.”
Sometimes I don’t know what to do with the inspiring parts of this world. I can get bogged down in the theology of sin. Everything has to do with broken laws and the need for redemption. But what do I do with music that inspires me? How do I relate to a painting that moves my soul? Can’t it be just a reflection of creation? Can’t it be a reminder that the God who made the world loves the world and gave it gifts to enjoy and inspire?
I find it interesting that when King Saul was struggling with a dark spirit, he called in David to play the harp for him. Music soothed his spirit. Another time music moved him to prophesy for God. Music brought a connection with God’s Spirit. Is that ultimately because God’s Spirit hums? His songs work their way into our heart and inspire us. They draw us toward him.
This morning I used a song to initiate my worship of God. It has moved me forward and lifted me up all morning.
No wonder I love The Sound of Music.