Some of us have very little musical ability and even less musical knowledge. For us, the intricacies of composing a piece of counterpoint music passes us by altogether, although we might appreciate to some measure the result of the beautiful blending of two or more melodies into one harmonious entity. For our part, we are more likely to associate the word ‘counterpoint’ with putting two contrasting comments next to one another.
As an example of the latter counterpoint consider the following two remarks on life. First, a verse from the poem ‘Grongar Hill’ by John Dyer
A little rule, a little sway,
A sunbeam in a winter’s day,
Is all the proud and mighty have,
Between the cradle and the grave.
Here the poet expresses in plaintive terms the apparent vacuousness of a life in which individuals experience only trivial and transient satisfaction during their lifetime and have no awareness of a deeper enduring reality.
A second view on life is the curt statement by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians (Phil 1 v 21)
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain
Here Paul declares that for him life is an opportunity to exercise his passion for serving and honoring Christ and that his life after death will be even more fulfilling.
These are truly counterpoint declarations. One emphasizes a limited and seemingly melancholy view of life, whereas the other portrays one of boundless and profound joy. The Christian by his/her faith and life experience identifies comprehensively with latter view. In essence, the Christian is
- sensitive to the reality of eternity knows the truth of Christ’s declaration
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life”, John 6 v 47
- is aware of Christ’s majesty and love, and
- in turn desires to serve and honor Him here on earth and will give Him undiluted worship in heaven.
Next Sunday morning’s worship service at IBCZ will be an opportunity for us to reflect upon the manner in which our faith is to direct and be evident in our life. Join us at 10:30.