Saturday, December 6, 2014

A New Song: Play Skillfully

For nearly five hundred years, the cello has been played as a filler or background for some of the most incredible musical masterpieces. Occasionally, a cellist will get center stage, but typically, the same cello sounds come out. After hundreds of years and God knows how many tens of thousands of cello artists later, two men change everything. If you haven’t heard of 2Cellos, two Croatian men Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, and you have any interest in music, you should listen to them. (I’ll provide a link at the bottom of this post.)

These two gentlemen have transformed what many would consider a boring instrument into something that captivates your attention. Neither Luka nor Stjepan trained on anything different than was presented to all the other cello artists over the centuries. It was the same structure of thin wood, taut strings, and ornate knobs, but they turned it into something that is played at teenage rock concerts to standing ovations.

Nothing is different about the instrument. Nothing has changed. No cello creator would be offended as the instrument is in tact just as intended by the maker. The only difference…presentation of the material. The notes float off the same treble and bass clef that has existed for millennia, but the sound they create captures the imagination of the coldest of classical music haters.

The instrument is old, outdated, and many would consider it boring. In the right hands, however, the music can be just as sweet; it can change with the culture without changing the focus and can appeal to the youngest of minds…and the cello creator is not offended.

"Sing a new song of praise to Him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy."
Psl. 33:3

Instead, the craftsman is encouraged as new and innovative ways to honor such a beautiful instrument is pieced together so that the instrument does not fade into oblivion.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is considered by many to be old, outdated, and boring. One thing is certain, however, the center of that attention, Jesus Christ, is still just as sweet and soothing to the heart as He has always been.

“How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.” Psl. 119:103

The statistics have been clear for decades; the younger generations are tuning out the gospel message. Why not pick up that instrument of old and play a new song that captures the imagination of a teenager, college student, or grandparent?

The Creator will not be saddened by your new approach, but instead, He will be grateful that someone cares enough about the Good News of Jesus Christ that they picked up the same tool, played from the same sheet of music that Paul, Peter, and Martin Luther did, but with a new sound that captivates a new audience. The pages stay bound to the book, the words do not run, and the message is consistent: 

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No man can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). 

Perhaps simply because you earnestly sought God anew or begged for a new way to present the same message, the listener may hear the care, love, humility, and honor you give your Savior and see something different about you than other Christians.

The others seemed to them to simply want to stroke the same chord with little to no effort, concern, or passion for the person, but only wanting a notch in their Christian belt.

During this Christmas season when we sing, hum, or listen to Christmas songs such as Joy to the world or my personal favorite Hallelujah, please don’t forget the message of old continues to be a soothing sound to a troubled heart. The love of Christ is still just as peaceful as it was when the angels proclaimed His birth to rugged shepherds.

“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Luke 2:10-11

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