Friday, February 27, 2015

Guest Post: "Life is a Gift. Be Grateful."

Two years ago, I attended a Montreat Worship and Music Conference in Asheville where the theme was A New Creation and a New Earth. Throughout the week spent outside of my comfort zone, I experienced a deeper understanding of both my faith and my calling in life. While taking a seminar with a dear friend, Tom Trenney, I learned three significant facts that I carry with me each and every day. These facts helped me re-evaluate the way I saw the world around me.

Life is a gift! Be grateful! God has given us 168 hours a week that we don’t deserve; but it is a gift. Whatever we have is enough; that is also a gift. The most wonderful part is that we have been given the grace to give back in return. 

Uniqueness is what unites us. Each and every day we should celebrate the uniqueness in God’s creation, for that is the only thing we have in common with each other. We are all unique.

God is everywhere and always. God is not just here in the present; he is also in our past. He has sent the old away and brought us into a new day. For each morning we rise we are waking into a new creation, a new opportunity to let our own light shine, and to grow with God.

Lent offers us an opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to a way of life, which is rooted in our baptism. In our busy world, Lent provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our patterns, pray more deeply, experience sorrow for what we’ve done and failed to do, and to be generous to those in need. It is a time where we can focus on what is lacking in our life or more importantly what God wants to intricately refine in us as we prepare for the Easter Celebration.

Two of my postludes during Lent have been the Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548 by J.S. Bach. Bach is known as the “master of the fugue” due to his complex and beautiful fugal works seen in the virtuoso element of the Fugue in E minor. He cultivated many musical forms during his lifetime, though none has had more lasting influence than the prelude and fugue. He expanded and refined the old forms of the prelude and turned the fugue into an unabashed, virtuoso fugue based on a theme whose notes leap to ever-widening intervals in the manner of a wedge. At the end of the majority of his music, Bach signed it S.D.G. meaning Soli Deo Gloria: to God alone be the glory. Bach did not just change the way of composing music in a day; it took him time to cultivate these masterworks. In the same way God has given us this period of Lent, so that we can prepare the way for Him to cultivate a new life in us.

We get so involved with our daily lives (which are gifts), the running about to all activities that we forget about the one thing in our lives that is endless; God. If you followed the customary Lenten act to give something up this year, I urge you to fill that void with something that will bring you closer to Christ so that He can refine and prepare you for the Easter Celebration. My hope is that through this act of selflessness you may fully realize that the life given to you is a gift and that to God alone be the glory.

Kaitlyn Davis is the Associate Director of Music and Organist. Here at Sardis, Kaitlyn’s expertise is engaged as she plays the organ, piano, and keyboards for our traditional and contemporary worship services, accompanies the sanctuary choir, occasionally rings in the bell choirs, and assists in growing our music ministry, especially the children and youth music programs.

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