One of the organizing factors in all of music is the melody. If music is sound organized in time (or rather the taking of dominion over sound and time), then melody is one way to help interpret or understand a piece of music. In her book The Anatomy of Melody: Exploring the Single Line of Song, Alice Parker states an apology for melody in her forward:
Many rookie teachers are tempted to hold a hardline view on some theological issue which “the average Christian just can’t handle.” The rookie teacher believes the average American Christian is too intellectually weak to handle the real truth about pacifism, spanking, total war, double predestination, liberalism, Catholicism, monarchy, eschatology, socialism, race relations, wealth and poverty, slavery, liturgy, prayer for the dead, God’s exhaustive sovereignty, universalism, apostolic succession, nuclear war, taxation (is theft!), the Crusades, democracy, and so forth.
A poem by seventeenth-century poet Henry Vaughn begins with the line, “I saw Eternity the other night.” It’s a lovely turn of phrase for the way it marries the enduring, the universal, the ideal—“I saw Eternity”—with the passing, the particular, the earthly: “the other night.” Does this not capture a fleeting experience of epiphany that catches us all, one time or another—a sudden tearing of the curtain to glimpse the glory that was there concealed all along?
St. Benedict's Rule advises abbots to seek counsel from the monks under their charge whenever important decisions have to be made. “As often as anything important is to be done in the monastery, the abbot shall call the whole community together and himself explain what the business is; and after hearing the advice of the brothers, let him ponder it and follow what he judges the wiser course” (RB, 3.1).
Step 1. One week prior to final exam, inform students the final exam will be profoundly difficult and very long.
Step 2. Five days prior to exam, purchase fifteen pounds of flour, jar of yeast, pink sea salt. Add water. Mix together. Let bread dough sit in fridge three days.
Step 3. Remind students again of how difficult the final exam will be. “You may bring all the books you read this year, though you will not know until the day of the test which of the books will be useful to you.”
When our Lord was crucified and buried, the disciples were traumatized and frightened beyond the imagination of the suburban American writing this post.
When He ascended into heaven, however, they were not sad or frightened. We learn mostly from Luke that they returned to Jerusalem rejoicing, that they “were continually in the temple praising and blessing God,” and that they went up into the upper room where they “continued together with one accord in prayer and supplication.”
Peter Leithart’s survey of the Gospels, The Four, models what it means to read Scripture iconically – that is, paying attention to the images, connections, and echoes found throughout. In his chapter on St. John’s gospel, Leithart mentions, almost in passing, that one could view the book as a walk through the tabernacle. And upon close inspection, it seems clear that this is yet one more beautiful thread John weaves throughout his writing.
The idea of consonance reaches far beyond the idea of pleasant sounds or music. To be sure, consonance in music can be readily expressed and comprehended—partly because we have an innate sense of what accord or agreement should be. However, consonance, or harmoniousness, is a principle that pertains to much of life: health, relationships, society, and spiritual life.
People don't rise from the dead very often, though it has happened a few times. They don't often ascend to heaven either, though, again, there are a few accounts of it happening.
However, only once has anybody descended into hades, been raised from the dead, and then ascended into heaven in triumph, whence He could distribute the gifts of His triumph to His people.