Music and the Trinity

Below is an excerpt from the book, Delighting in the Trinity, by Michael Reeves. It is in the chapter on creation, and I have to say that the idea of the world being created out of the beautiful harmony of Father, Son and Spirit – well, it just makes me giddy. I have always loved musical harmony ( I might have mentioned that a time or two), but I have never heard the connection of it to the Trinity expressed quite so beautifully. 

Christianity has always had a special love affair with music… It is from the heavenly harmony of Father, Son and Spirit that this universal frame of the cosmos–and all created harmony–comes. To hear a tuneful harmony can be one of the most intoxicatingly beautiful experiences. And no wonder; as in heaven, so on earth. The Father, Son and Spirit have always been in delicious harmony, and thus they create a world where harmonies–distinct beings, persons or notes working in unity–are good, mirroring the very being of a triune God.

The eternal harmony of the Father, Son and Spirit provides the logic for a world in which everything was created to exist in cheerful conviviality, and which still, despite the discord of sin and evil, is so essentially harmonious…

And such thoughts have inspired many a Christian musician. Johann Sebastian Bach, for instance, was deeply committed to the idea that the human musician could echo and sound out the cosmic harmony of the divine musician; the orderliness, the minor and major keys, the shadows and the lights in the music all resonating the structure of the great symphony that is creation. In writing such music, Bach quite deliberately sought to provide fuel for both mind and heart, challenging the intellect and stirring the affections, for the ultimate reality that stands behind music is not only fascinating, but unutterably beautiful.

Bach’s young contemporary, Jonathan Edwards, was an ardent lover of music. Declaring that the Father, Son and Spirit constitute “the supreme harmony of all,” he believed, like Bach, that when we sing together in harmony (as he often did with his family) we do something that reflects God’s own beauty.

Now, go find somebody to sing with:)

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6 Responses to Music and the Trinity

  1. Beautiful. It’s interesting to note that Tolkien used the idea of music when he created his world. Even when the “harmony” is broken by an angelic being bent on doing his own will and not as he was created to do, “God” turns that evil back into the harmony of what he is creating. It’s a pretty amazing story.
    Music is utterly amazing. And God, its creator, is ever greater!

  2. Cindy V says:

    Harmony has always been one of my favorite words. I love what it communicates to us beyond its technical use in the musical realm.

  3. Emily Day says:

    Lovely!

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