About a month ago I performed my latest composition in an Easter service. I started the project this last winter and was trying to depict an accurate story of Jesus' life through instrumental guitar and a slideshow presentation that included images and scripture. As I worked on the piece, the meaning of Jesus' life, death, and coming back to life took on a whole new depth for me. The piece became so powerful that it was difficult to practice. The music would take my mind to such new and powerful places that I became overwhelmed. I was very surprised and excited to see and hear the impact the piece had on others when I presented the piece.
As Easter approached and I was developing an introduction to the piece I began to wonder how much impact this piece would have on others. It was very powerful to me but would that translate to others? I decided I needed to explain some background of the piece without giving away everything.
Before performing the piece, I explained to the audience how the story of Jesus has mostly been a fiction story to me. I've grown up in the church and have been around Christians my whole life. Through research I've come to learn that there must be a God and the Christian Bible is a trustworthy source of understanding God. Somewhere between the ages of 7 and 10 I began to have a small acceptance that Jesus made me right with God. This belief has remainedrather minuscule until working on this new composition. Somehow the music has taken my mind and emotions to new levels so that this story of Jesus has become much more real to me and not just a story and not just something that happened in history.
(If you are new to some of these ideas, please check out what the Bible has to say or ask me more about this stuff because this is a matter of your life. My best encouragement to getting you to look into this is - if there is a heaven and a hell, don't you want to go to heaven? If you want to go to heaven, don't you want to know how to get there? Also, if there is a God He is going to exist whether you decide to believe in Him or not. Through years of doubt and research all this has proven to be true to me.)
After giving my introduction I gave my presentation of the piece which can be viewed below.
As I performed the piece and followed the timed slides I thought of how Jesus took the punishments I deserved for all the things I've done against God. I imagined that it should be me taking on one of the worst punishments ever known to man. This includes being beat and thrown around, stripped naked, carying a huge wooden beam during all of this to the spot where you will be tortured, being nailed through your feet and hands to this beam, and then hung there while a crowd stairs at you and mocks you.
As the performance went into the part where Jesus died I had a strong realization that Jesus did this in my place so I didn't have to go through that and so I can be allowed into Heaven and be guided in this life to experience greater joy and peace.
The slides and music begin to show that Jesus came back to life. This is something that is very difficult to believe but by this time my heart and mind are consumed by what I've been experiencing and to see that Jesus came back to life to prove that He is God in human form and to prove that there is a form of life after death, I am overwhelmed. I began to experience the greatest and most uncontrollable joy I have ever felt.
As the piece keeps growing more and more joyful and finally ends, I am lost in this realization of what Jesus has done. I hear the audience clapping and cheering but I don't acknowledge them because I know their cheers are for what Jesus has done for them and I didn't want to try to steel any of that credit. I put my guitar down and went to the first open seat I could find and sat down and cried uncontrollably.
(Please understand I am not trying to say how great I am because I have many flaws and my performance included flaws, but I just want to explain how powerful God is and how He can use any of us through our own talents to explain and share His power. This is one account of that in my life.)
After the service I am greeted by people and realize that the power and understanding I felt was translated to many others through this performance and presentation. I can't believe that a weak person like me could create this kind of impact through a box of wood with strings on it and some pictures and words being flashed on a screen.
I have now realized more than ever that God can work through all of us, including me, and that music can be used to say so much. It can make you laugh, cry, be bored, grow tired, wake up, have peace, and so much more. It can do all of this in ways that no words or anything else can do. This is why I love music and why I know it must be God lead to experience the most out of music.