The Wonders of the Bible

What a rich collection of stories, poems, laws, history, theology, wisdom–all of it about God moving in the world.

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Posted in , May 25, 2018

The wonders of the Bible

When I was a kid I loved listening to music. Records that I played on a little turntable. I’d never heard a live orchestra but I knew something about it from my recording of “Peter and the Wolf.”

Then one day I was invited to a concert with a real orchestra. Our next door neighbor was a violinist and she played in the Pasadena Symphony. Her husband asked my parents if I wanted to come to hear the music.

Did I ever.

I didn’t know this man very well–his son used to spend a lot of time in my older brother’s treehouse–but I went. Willingly.

Our seats were up in the balcony of the Pasadena’s venerable Civic Auditorium. I stared with fascination at the musicians on stage. There were violinists and trumpeters and clarinetists and drummers, some of them tuning up, creating a cacophony of sound.

Finally the conductor stepped out on stage. He turned to the orchestra and everything went quiet. Then he raised his baton.

I was stunned. The sound was like what came out of my record player. Only better. Infinitely better. Richer, fuller, melodic, captivating.

“So that’s where the sound comes from,” I remember thinking. That luscious orchestral sound that I’d heard only on records–it came from dozens of musicians all playing together, the string players sawing away with their bows, the brass blowing into glistening horns, the timpanist drumming.

Nothing could have prepared me for it. Except my records had prepared me.

The other day some of us were talking about the Bible. What a rich collection of stories, poems, laws, history, theology, wisdom–all of it about God moving in the world.

It’s demanding, absorbing, brilliant, but sometimes the concepts feel like they’re way beyond my understanding. Like listening to records before I ever heard the real thing.

But doesn’t it also promise that there will be a moment when a celestial conductor raises a baton and something magisterial unfolds?

Like when I heard an orchestra–a real orchestra–for the first time.

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