The Many Sounds of Majesty
By Darlene Franklin ~
As the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle approaches, I remember watching Charles and Di. A generation later, Americans are as fascinated as ever with royal weddings. According to the New York Post, we remain fascinated by royalty because they embody national unity in a unique way. (Presidents tend to polarize.)
Perhaps that explains how nature unifies us in our search for God.
Consider the experience of Katherine Lee Bates.
In 1893, the young professor visited Pikes Peak while spending the summer in Colorado Springs. Her heartfelt words still inspires visitors atop the mountain that rises two miles from earth. O beautiful for spacious skies.
I saw Colorado’s Rockies for the first time when I was in my thirties. They burst into view, filling the horizon. Tall, rugged mountains in shades of slate blue and purple—breathtaking.
God’s majesty stampeded through my heart stronger than any time since I left New England for college, The soaring peaks increased my awareness of His other-ness as creator and king.
I experienced similar things as a child living by the ocean. I loved summer storms. Flashing lightning and crashing waves didn’t scare me at all. In the pounding, echoing, hissing destruction, God’s voice echoed,
In similar ways, music’s harmonies affect me in similar ways. Messiah, George Friedric Handel’s masterpiece, was first performed on Easter Sunday, 1742. Legend has it that King George II was so impressed by the Hallelujah Chorus that he stood to his feet for the duration of the song. Everyone around him also stood, as required by royal protocol. Audiences today continue the practice. An earthly king recognized The King, and so must we.
I’ve had the privilege of performing all two and a half hours of the Messiah. At my lowest points, I lose myself in music, whether classical or contemporary.
A child’s cry also showcases God. Nothing captures the pinnacle of creation as perfectly as that tiny, helpless being. All parts work as God designed, made to live with God in eternity although it will take a second birth to make that happen.
As the proverb says, a child is God’s approval that the world should go on. God gave Abraham and Sarah a son after he had lived for a century. The Lord gave me a grandchild when my daughter died.
The silence of old age adds a high-pitched bell to the choir. Many of the most faithful members at the nursing home church struggle to speak. One lady claps when the preacher’s family joins in the singing.
Another writes down her prayer requests because we struggle to understand her stroke-riddled speech. Warm smiles say it all for those without speech, and the unheard, soft-spoken Bible reading of one lady is pure praise..
I offer a pianist’s hands as a humble accompaniment to their purer worship.
God’s majesty confronts me, demanding an answer. I respond in worship.