Name: Zach Busch
Location: University Lutheran Church of Hope, Dinkytown – Minneapolis, MN
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:7 NRSV
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
As a musician for the church, I have infinitely marveled at the power and mystery of music. The ability of the heart to feel and know beauty is innate to all people without being taught. An infant child’s bright eyes light up at the sound of a choir. A rambunctious toddler sings gently to their dolly. The lonely high schooler puts on their headphones in the hallway and escapes into a sound world known only to them. We sit in awe in the pew as the sound of the organ rolls through the vaults of the sanctuary during the postlude on Easter Sunday, feeling in the very presence of God amidst these pillars of sonic velocity. And our grandfather, lost quietly somewhere in his dementia-afflicted mind, comes alive suddenly at the sound of a familiar melody on the piano.
Luther understood and named this power of music. Like grace, it is one of God’s great gifts, freely given. Everywhere. We are born into the song, recognizing it from the vibrations of our mother’s voice in the womb. From the rise and fall of her laughter, and the tempo of her own heart.
And what of God’s voice, God’s heartbeat? Here is where Spirit enters, that life-changer, that fullness of joy and sorrow. Spirit is all around. They are in all this music, everywhere, always singing, beating the drum, in the paradise bliss of a ukulele strum, inciting the distant cosmic hum of spinning Saturn. If we pause to listen, we hear the song in some form, from an outside source or from within our own body.
Do your innermost parts sing? What song does your heart make in its yearning? What melody hovers, suspended, in your tears as they flow? What song of distant past is stuck in your head?
Do you believe in your own voice?
Child, God is singing to you. This lullaby echoes inside you, God’s own voice, God’s own Spirit. God is singing you into dreaming of the life you are meant to live. Only you. What is your greatest longing? What is your deepest sorrow? What is your Great Joy?
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit—the song of God. Let your song rise, a fabulous arpeggio going ever up, up. It mingles, then, with the song of all of us. The song of the common good. The harmony of God.
O Everlasting Song, be sung in me. Be sung in all. For those alone, be sung, be sung. For those in need, be sung, be sung. Be sung in hope for harmony in us, in Earth, in distant sparkling dust.