I’m listening to an “easy listening” station right now that plays instrumental versions of the originals songs. It’s relaxing and I can fill in many of the lyrics.
Those guys like Roger Williams, Percy Faith, Bert Kämpfert, (I think you need to be over fifty to recognize the names) do not produce original music. One finger on a piano with a backup band produces an instrumental variation of the genuine song.
We are all “instrumentalists” attempting to copy the Jesus we follow. His 2,000-year-old lyrics still provides us with a melody for our lives. We can remember the lyrics, at least some them. We especially remember the chorus of any song we hear. Since his time – the names change, new issues arise but the musical notes Jesus left for us remain, amazingly, the same.
“Mack the Knife” is playing now but I can never remember all those weird names. So much for remembering.
Jesus wrote loads of songs for us about total forgiveness, offering the best wine last (the elderly?), a tiny seed becomes huge, asking a blind man what he wants from Him (as though it’s not obvious!), giving into a woman who wants justice and Jesus’ “dog” reference doesn’t cut it, making a big man out of the small-minded man in that tree, and constantly telling the twelve deaf guys that the music is about fishing for the benefit of all. (Jesus meant “fishing” to be a verb and not a noun.)
I can recall the beginning lyrics to, “The Way We Were,” the song playing now. Mem’ries light the corners of my mind, Misty water-colored mem’ries of the way we were…Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind, Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were…
Each of us is entrusted with the beautiful melodies written for us by Jesus. Our task, inside and outside Lent, is to allow that melody to continue. Entrusted to keep those musical notes heard to the rich and from the poor. There may be flats and sharps along the way the melody of community and reaching out to each other will always have a resounding ending to it. The original composer, Jesus, promises us that.
Whitney Houston’s, “Saving All My Love for You” is playing now. No lyrics but the same melody. The lyrics to be made in our days and times are left up to us.