A Musical Crescendo

Sunday, March 3, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee"1 (Lyrics)

Isaiah 49:13a – Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! (NIV)

Let us look in on the Plaza de Sant Roc de Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain. There stands a man with his bass fiddle poised to start playing his instrument. A young girl approaches the man's hat on the ground and drops in a coin. The man draws his bow across and begins playing a few notes. The scene unfolds as a woman enters, sits near the man and begins playing her cello. As she picks up the musical theme of "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's 9th Symphony, various instrumentalists converge on the group until there are violins, woodwinds, a brass ensemble, a kettle drum, a conductor, and singers. The music is rendered with a gradual increase of intensity as each instrument and voice is added. The reaction of the people gathering around goes from astonishment to outright elation of young and old alike.

My response to this flash mob performance was an outpouring of joy as I began to rejoice in the Lord by singing the first verse of the hymn Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, penned by Henry Van Dyke to the music of Beethoven:

    Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
    Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
    Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, drive the dark of doubt away,
    Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

Reflecting on the beautiful words of this hymn, I see hearts unfolding like a musical crescendo: a gradual lifting of our spirits to God through the ministry of song. For example, consider the intensity of the following verses:

Psalm 100:2 – Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. (NIV)

Psalm 71:23 – My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you — I, whom you have redeemed. (NIV)

Psalm 32:11 – Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! (NIV)

Worshipful music has the ability to tear down worldly barriers and soften our hearts to God's Spirit. Let us begin by offering the fruit of our lips as we increase our worship to experience the fullness of His joy.

Come before Him; shout for joy! Rejoice!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come to You with thanksgiving and praise for Your loving kindness and tender mercies. May we have joyful hearts as we begin this day with You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Parise Arakelian

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks so much.

    Thanks for the inspiration Parise.

    Thank you very much, I really enjoyed this devotional a lot. God bless you, my friend.

    Thank you for your devotional today. Music certainly lifts our hearts in joy and adoration.

    Beautiful Parise, Thank you.
    May your week ahead be filled with Joy.

    Great – glorious message, Parise.
    What a spectacular way to begin a day: praising God for all His glorious ways and love.

    Parise, Bless you for sharing this moving experience with us today. My heart rejoices with the singing and music, but also with the reminders from Scripture of the joy that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessings.

    with joy!!!
    Thank you for writing, Parise.

    Dear Parise:Thank you for today’s message.
    You are right we have so much to praise our Lord for, every breath, every step we take, our precious family, our eternal salvation etc!

    Dear Parise,
    I really enjoy your story “A Musical Crescendo”.
    Thank you.

    Dear Parise Prakelian,
    Were you actually there in Barcelona, Spain? Did the scenario you narrate actually happen? The man and woman and the group playing instruments? … the conductor and the singers? Were you actually there and actually added your voice to the music of the instrument players? Please tell me.
    Wondrous worship, whether actual or imaginary. You made me feel I was there.
    Keep writing.

    Amen and rejoice! I love to worship in song. I often use praise and worship songs in my morning devotion time – what an awesome way to adore God. Many times I wake up in the early hours and there’s a praise song going through my mind. I sing with the Praise Team at our early morning contemporary worship service and love leading others in worshipping through music. Blessings!

    Dear Parise;
    Watching the video on YouTube from your devotional, brought tears to my eyes. And I thought….wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had more of these kinds of flash mob performances instead of fighting each other?! Whoever started the flash mob movement…I thank them from the bottom of my heart. There is indeed a movement of the Spirit!

    Dear Parise,
    Thank you for these inspiring thoughts! You got me thinking about the musical crescendo throughout the book of Psalms and the wonderful way God uses the ministry of music to increase our joy in worshipping Him.
    So glad you are writing again! I’ve missed your devotionals – they are truly a blessing to me.
    Keep up the good work!

    Good Morning Parise:
    What a beautiful devotional describing the magnificent scene on the Plaza de Sant Roc de Sabadell, Barcelona, in Spain. I think I also have viewed that video and was touched by the participation and joy in the faces of all who walked by, stopped, and joined in praising the Lord of Heaven and Earth in song and music. Like you so ably alluded to one could indeed see hearts unfolding and spirits being lifted as they lifted their voices to God through the ministry of music. May we all begin this new week before us by praising God in song as we are guided along by His gentle hand.
    A beautiful devotional.

    My dear Parise,
    I recall that flash mob video that someone sent me and I thrilled my heart. I really appreciated your paragraph:-
    “Worshipful music has the ability to tear down worldly barriers and soften our hearts to God’s Spirit. Let us begin by offering the fruit of our lips as we increase our worship to experience the fullness of His joy.”
    And I can freely say without fear of any contradiction that worshipful music is about the only music that I really enjoy.
    The Words you were given touched my heart.
    I also love the Judas Maccabees Thine be the Glory.

    Loved your DD. In church, the grandson of an older couple in our congregation, sat behind me with his three very young children. Chris has a wonderful voice and a heart for our Lord, so sang with incredible joy, despite some of the difficulties in his life.
    His joy, became my joy, enabling me to sing with a full heart and on key!
    Did you see the episode you describe or was it a video? I given devotionals at our local extended care facility. I would like to use your devotional in the future. Ode to Joy has been sung at special times so this DD is very special to me.

    How insightful; being joyful is being obedient to God. Thanks for your creative approach.

    I’m not musical, but I am a listener, and I thank God that I constantly hear beautiful music, especially that which He has inspired.


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