"Music cleanses the understanding; inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself." ~Henry Ward Beecher
"There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is." ~William P. Merrill
Over the past five years I have had the privilege of singing with the Parkland Men's Choir. We meet every Monday evening from September through April to spend a couple of hours singing and practicing. It is a wonderful time of sharing, not only the music, but our lives with each other. There are times when there are particular prayer concerns that we pray about together. There is fellowship and sharing of burdens and blessings. But most of all there is the music.
Music has always been a part of my life. Piano lessons as a child, playing in the band and singing in musical productions in high school, leading worship in the churches we have served--all of this has been important to me over the years. I believe that music is a gift from God that touches the soul in ways that mere words never could.
Music not only touches the soul, but it revives the spirit. Last night, I really did not want to go to choir practice. I had a cold; I was coughing at times; I felt tired and weary. Yet, I felt it was important to be there so I went anyway. As we began to sing some wonderful gospel songs, I was not only glad I had come. I even felt better physically. It was a wonderful evening. I came home very tired and yet refreshed.
"The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul." ~Johann Sebastian Bach
Last night we watched the first two hours of "The Bible," the epic miniseries. We do not get the History channel so were not able to watch it on TV. However we had pre-ordered the DVD, and it arrived yesterday. So we sat down and watched the first two episodes. My reaction to the program is somewhat mixed.
First of all, I must commend Roma Downey and Mark Burnett for undertaking such an ambitious project. It is an overwhelming task to try to dramatize the important events of the Bible. There will always be different opinions as to what is important enough to be included and what can be left out. So, no matter what choices are made not everyone will be pleased.
I was impressed with the quality of the production. The dramatic quality and the special effects were both impressive. I thought they did a good job of covering the important events in the lives of of Abraham and Moses. However, one of the things that did concern me was the amount of artistic licence that was taken with the Bible accounts.
I certainly understand the need to adapt the story at times for dramatic effect. I don't have a problem with that. But there were some occasions where the story in the movie was in complete contradiction to the account in the Scripture. One example is the dispute between Abraham's servants and Lot's servants. In the movie, Lot chose to leave over Abraham's strong objections. In the Scripture, it was Abraham who suggested that they needed to go separate ways in order to have room enough for their animals. He offered Lot what ever land he wanted, and said he would go the other way. I couldn't see any reason to change that story.
All in all, I think the series is a valuable attempt to present the Bible message. I look forward to seeing the rest of the episodes. It is my hope and prayer that having seen this production will lead people to read the Bible for themselves and see the accounts exactly as they are given in the Scripture.
Gordon Rowland has been a Missionary-Pastor with Village Missions of Canada for over 35 years. Gordon and his wife Val have lived and served in Clive since 2001. They have four children and nine wonderful grandchildren.