2nd October 2020

Many of us are music-lovers. Whether it’s classical, pop, heavy metal, jazz, folksy stuff or anything else that turns us on, it matters to us. But you may find that over the years your particular “tastes” have changed in some way. When I was a student, and Bach and Mozart were top of my list, I would never have imagined that one day Elgar – that flag-waving “Pomp and Circumstance” stuff! – would also move into my classical Premier League Table. Later, I heard, Elgar himself detested the words of “Land of Hope and Glory” and refused to sing them. More important, I discovered much more of his music. Or rather, the music discovered me. Some music, when we don’t just hear it with our ears but allow it to get inside our mind and heart, sets up resonances with chords deep within us that we didn’t realise were there: feelings born of memories, anxieties, loves, disappointments, longings and hopes. Music sets the strings of our heart vibrating in new ways, creating fresh harmonies. Music doesn’t just awaken us to new pictures of the world; it also invites us, each one, to a new understanding of ourselves, of who we are and above all of what we can still grow into being.

It’s no accident that music has always been closely connected with faith, which is likewise a matter of growing in knowledge both of God and ourselves. That’s why we need to keep on reading the Bible, more of it than we are familiar with at present. We don’t just read it – it reads us!

Keith Clements