what is needed: an enlarged heart and mind

I can enjoy all kinds of music. I suppose classical music reminds me the most of scripture as a whole. There is much variation and beauty in it. But you have to be willing to go through the entire piece, not just favorite parts of it.

And you’ll find all kinds of in and outs, and whatever musicians might call them in a given piece. The same is certainly true for scripture. A certain theme is likely in play, but how it is woven and emerges is missed when it is not appreciated in its entirety. That includes the parts either not understood, or seemingly unnecessary, maybe even offensive at least on the surface. We need to listen to all of it to learn to see and appreciate the whole.

One wouldn’t have to be stuck with classical music as the one analogy to compare with the need to be thoroughly acquainted with, and more than that, in interplay with all of scripture, to understand the whole, indeed God’s story given to us, and made complete in Jesus. Other comparisons would do, perhaps good books or films. I think classical music might be especially apt since it seems that genre has fallen on hard times, at least in the United States. It has its devoted, loyal following, but only a small percentage (I read 3%) listen to it in the US. And the Bible itself seems to have fallen on the same hard times. While a lot of people have some sort of respect and maybe even reverence for the Bible, few have read it from cover to cover themselves, or read it at all in the course of a week. Nowadays you can listen to it easily enough, as well as read it.

What is needed is a Biblical mindset, and heart that is expanded accordingly. That certainly has challenges all their own. But what will be found is a remarkable, beautiful, even if mysterious world. Where all the parts have their place within the whole.

So if you try classical music, use only most popular or listened to works maybe as just an introduction. Play through an entire musical piece from start to finish, even when parts of it are not understood or even liked. Just play it through. And the same goes for scripture. One way or another, get in all of it. Whole books, and in the end, the entire Book. Meant to shape us individually and together as God’s people, in and through Jesus.

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