multitude
By: Rev. Jeffrey E. Ries
This piece was inspired by something I read several years ago but I confess that I cannot recall what (a sermon I think, or maybe a song) or by whom.  So while the words (and the use of musical dynamic terms) may be mine, the idea and inspiration belong to another.
 In the beginning
The symphonic voice of the Triune God
Sounded forth Maestoso
And out of the chaos of nothing
Was spoken the sonata of God’s own creation
His song was the Word
His Word which would become flesh
The voice of God sang His loving concerto of creation
And it was good
And all creation joined in the song
As the heavens declared the glory of God
Singing in harmonious echo
His opus of love and grace
Land, sea, tree, fish, beast
Adam, Eve
All God’s own creation
All singing Con Grazia
All good

Until came forth in bruscamente and agitato
A Tempting tune of “Did God really say?”
Adam and Eve mistook this disharmony for melody
And fell under its spell
And sin and death joined the refrain
The song of maleficence cursed all creation
And would have drowned out the opus of adoration
Of all creation to God

Yet in spite of the ugly dissonance
Which had overcome His once melodious creation
The Triune God would not be silent
His song sung anew grazioso e con amore
A promise of enmity between Eve and the serpent
That enmity would be her offspring
And God’s own Son
The first tones of this song of promise came sotto voce
As a simple nomad heard its call
Yet from Abraham sang forth a chorus of voices
By his offspring who with love were declared children of God
From here that once sotto voce began its crescendo
Through ages and generations the Opus of God’s mercy sang on
Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David
Solomon
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel
Zechariah, Malachi
Through these voices and more the song carried forth
Singing the love song of God’s own Son
The song of God’s mercy
The Redeemer yet to come

But throughout the creation
The dissonance of evil song could still be heard
The enticing disharmony still crooned its deadly temptation
And the itching ears of humanity still fell under its spell
And would have drowned out the opus of adoration
Of all creation to God

Except the triune God would not be silent
A new song in grazioso e con amore He would sing
That the serpent would not gain the victory
And in a backwater town called Nazareth
The song sung through David
Would magnify the Lord
On the lips of a peasant named Mary
And what gave birth Sotto Voce one silent night
With peasant family, ox, ass, shepherds
Would crescendo in angelic chorus
“Glory be to God on high!”
And soon more voices joined
Anna, Simeon
John the Baptist
The song rang anew
And echoed in harmony God’s opus of love and grace

But throughout humanity
The dissonance of evil song could still be heard
The enticing disharmony still crooned its deadly temptation
And the itching ears of humanity still fell under its spell
Thus the deaths of baby boys in Bethlehem
Thus Christ’s own disciples singing of who is greatest
And their satanic song of, “Never, Lord!”
And yet more voices joined the evil chorus and broke forth into dissonance
Singing “Crucify Him!” con fuoco
And would have drowned out the opus of God’s song of sacrifice
And so it seemed for awhile
As the Son went forth silent as a lamb
And died

And sforzando the earth quaked its song as the sun went dark
But as the evil one focused on conducting his tune of dissonance
The melodious tones of the Triune God were lost to his ears
He could not hear the approach of His doom
His darkness could not overcome the light he had meant to snuff out
He meant it for evil
God meant it for good
The curtain that separated humanity from holy was torn
Graves were opened and dead came alive
The cursed refrain of the serpent began its diminuendo
As from the foot of the cross, the song of redemption was sung
Once again sotto voce at first
Just one single voice from the most unlikely of lips
A centurion, “Surely this Man was the Son of God”
The Triune God would not let His Song die
And the next voice to sound was the sound of a stone
It rolled away from the tomb causing first fear and great doubt
Yet angelic voice sang anew The Triune God’s opus of love and mercy
This time brillante e con moto “HE IS RISEN!”
And with the appearance of the risen Christ
Peter, Andrew, James, John, Thomas
And all the Apostles joined in the chorus
As God’s Song of victory carried forth
Soon thousands were added
And Stephen who would sing even unto death,
The Apostle Paul would sing of the mercy of Christ crucified and risen
From Damascus to Rome
From baptism to martyrdom
And age upon age, century upon century,
With every third splash of baptismal waters
The Lord joins more and more to His choir
And the choir of countless multitude grows
Those who sing the opus of God´s love and mercy
The mercy that defeated sin, death, and the devil
That chorus of faithful finds you in its number
As together with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven
You sing of the cross and empty tomb
With all creation and all of heaven’s chorus
Sound the Trumpet and proclaim the truth that God has won
Death is swallowed up in victory
The dragon is cast down.
Sing the song of faith and God’s mercy which proclaims
Death has no sting
The grave has no victory.
Throughout this season of Easter and beyond
Sing the song of God’s opus of love and mercy and victory
“He is risen. He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!”

But throughout humanity
The dissonance of evil song still can be heard
The enticing disharmony still croons its deadly temptation
And the itching ears of humanity still falls under its spell
That evil song it seems will not quit
And worse than the fact that it drowns out our praise to God
We are ashamed of how often we find ourselves singing along
Why can we not resist the dissonant evil song?
Why are we so quick to cast aside what God first sang to us and for us?
Looking to us and listening to our song it would seem we are lost
The strength and allure of dissonant evil is an overwhelming voice
Our song of praise to the Triune God seems dead
As dead as Christ once was in our place
And by that death already is answered our fearful question
Can there ever really be a place for me
In the eternal chorus of God’s song?

Indeed! For that is the purpose of God’s opus of love and mercy
His Word that goes out from His mouth does not return to him empty
It accomplishes His purpose
The song of the Triune God will not be silenced
God sang forth a Word of love and His name is Jesus
Through His Church the song goes on
In the Word of God upon your ears is heard the song of God’s triumph
Your forgiveness
Your place in His kingdom
Your status as His own dear child
All of this is sung in the chorus of God’s own Word
Sung by the multitude whom no one can count
By God’s own Word
By Christ’s own blood
That chorus finds you in its countless number
And the crescendo continues
Slowly
largo

It is tempting to tire of this movement in the Concerto of God’s grace
The evil one will use your weariness to lure you by his dissonant tones
But soon
Soon your rest will come
Soon the song shall burst forth fortissimo
With the voice of the archangel and the sound of the trumpet
And Christ will come
And the dead will rise
Perishable putting on imperishable
Bodies and souls reunited
The sinful and deadly song of dissonance gone forevermore
Only the song of the Triune God is to be heard
You who have ears to hear, listen to the song and join in the chorus!
The sonata, the concerto, the symphony
The magnum opus of the Triune God
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving
And honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!”
This song is sung
Hunger and thirst are no more
Every tear is wiped away
So sing, all you people of God!
Sing and cling to the faith that was credited to Abraham as righteousness
Sing as the chorus of God’s precious and blood-bought children
You are Easter people!
Alleluia is your song!
Sing the refrain of God´s forgiveness in Christ
Sing the chorus of your sin and death defeated
Sing the song of Christ crucified and risen unto all the ends of the earth
“Alleluia, Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed, alleluia!”
fine

The Magnum Opus of the Triune God