Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Pentatonic Scale and Godly Communication

Godly communication; that is communication to and from God, not communication about God, can be perhaps likened much more readily with music than with words, the latter in submission to the former.

The pentatonic scale is the mother of all blues and rock and roll, it is the Guitar-Soloists dream, and the Celtics heartbeat. In its most basic form a pentatonic is a scale with five pitches per octave. For instance a G pentatonic would have the following notes: G (root), Bb, C, D, F. During mastery of this scale the notes would be played in order at a certain tempo over, and over, and over. This gets the musician to recognise and retain the scale though logic, sound, and physical habit.

But this is not the end, and not the music, because once the scale is mastered and its forms/boundaries are submitted to, there is no end to its musicality. The notes can be played in any order, with any eventuality of tempo, over any timing and chord structure. Techniques can be added, and 'feel' can be introduced. The more a piece of music is 'felt' the more the music communicates. Heart - owns - this scale. Notice that the notes themselves are not changed, in fact in order for the music to be felt, the individual notes must ring out all the more clearly.

God's eternal attributes are clearly seen since the creation of the world, not in communicative-words, but in nature and image and sound and sense and experience (Rom. 1:19-20). Thus deep truths of God, enough to know Him, are revealed in means of communicate expressed in ways other than words. These things stir and communicate not just to our reason, but deep to our hearts. Do we 'understand' God in a sunset, or do we 'experience' His assurance (as taught in His word) in our hearts? God supports His truths with our hearts. Our heart/feelings are not the context for truth, they are the truths (or notes), themselves, 'played with feeling.'

The difference between dry truths and heartfelt truths is how they exist in our beings, how they are played. Are they static and repeated, or moving and dynamic? Scales are never meant to remain in order, they are meant to backbone music, to colour and create music, to be ordered and move in ways which makes us 'feel each note.' If the notes are the truths, then we must hold them, interweave them, resound, resonate and sustain them to create the music that holds our heart. Only then will we retain and love these individual truths.

The pentatonic scale as a scale of heart, teaches us this. Our heart when filled with truths (notes in the scale) and Spirit (playing the notes) breathes sounds to God, it sings and colours our words, it makes sentences real and not simply recited, it makes works worship and not duty.

At what level do we communicate with God? Do we pray/act out of a legalistic exegetically-exhausted thesaurus of words/actions (a repeated and ordered scale), and expect them to move us? Or does our moved, Spirit-filled and steered heart submit to, take, offer, sacrifice, bless, hold, and play the words and actions as creational-musical-living-language to God? Do we embrace God in prayer as we embrace the movement and melody of our favourite song? Do we caress the heart of God like our fingers caress the fretboard of our guitars? - Does he communicate to us through static scale, -or- dynamic solo? How do we feel when God reveals himself to us? Static?... or moved?

Submit your heart, your life, your circumstances, and your realities to God. Let Him stir your heart where it is meant to be stirred. Don't let His truths remain static, allow them to penetrate your heart, and allow you heart to be stirred up within your life, circumstances, and realities.

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