I was given a tenor horn for Christmas and have just joined a brass band to try and improve (I’ve not been playing long and am out of my depth but it’s fun!). The band experience is giving me a new appreciation for people who can play instruments, and singers too. Speaking of singers and musicians, I just read an awesome trilogy by Calvin Miller. I’ve heard him described as ‘John Bunyan meets John Milton’. Wow! The first book, ‘The Singer’, is all about Jesus. It’s a poetic re-telling of why he came to earth (basically the New Testament in epic poem form). It’s such a good read. Below is an excerpt, with Jesus a.k.a. the singer talking to his mother Mary. Why not make a drink and give it a read? I think it deserves to be read slowly. The message, or song, of love that Jesus came to bring would also mean the end of his life:
The Singer, chapter VIII.
“The Singer ceased.
The Ancient Star-Song slept.
‘You know the final verse?’ his mother asked.
‘I know it all,’ He answered back. ‘But I’ll not sing it here. I’ll wait till I am on the wall. Then alone the melody will fall upon thick ears.’
‘They will not like the final verse,’ she said.
‘They will not like it, for its music is beyond their empty days and makes them trade their littleness for life.’
‘The self of every singer of the song must die to know its music?’
‘They all must die, and ever does the self die hard. It screams and begs in pity not to go. Nor can it bear to let the Father-Spirit own the soul.’
He turned the thoughts methodically within his mind then spoke again, ‘Mother, I shall sing the song while I move out to seek more singers who like me are quite content to sing, then die.’
She knew that he was right, but found it hard to talk of joyous life and painful death at the same time. How odd the song born on Earthmaker’s breath should lead his only Troubadour to death.
‘I cannot bear to see you die. Let all the world go by. Don’t sing upon the wall. At least don’t sing the hell-bound ancient curse. If you must sing of life leave off the final verse.’
‘I go,’ He said. ‘God give me strength to sing upon the wall — The Great Walled City of the Ancient King.’
‘Leave off the final verse and not upon the wall.’
He kissed her.
‘I can’t ignore the Father-Spirit’s call
So I will sing it there, and I will sing it all.’”