So much has been said, so much bread has been eaten and so much wine drunk as the meaning of the celebration is explained in many tongues to many people. How is it Art? How is it Music? The experience has happened to everyone: it might have been a pet run over by accident, a person whose work went unrecognized or some inconsiderate driver causing you to run your vehicle into a ditch. Whatever it was it hurt you when it took place and the word “forgiving” is not what you wished to hear.
At the communion table we remember the sacrifice of our Saviour, His suffering, His death and His resurrection all come together to give us the chance to be forgiving and to accept forgiveness.
How is forgiving someone an art? According to WordWeb, Art is defined as the creation of beautiful or significant things. To be a forgiving person is indeed a significant and beautiful accomplishment. It requires courage and stamina. One of the most revealing examples is found between chapters 37- 45 of Genesis. Joseph having been sold as a slave and put in prison for his commitment and belief in God shone with glorious brightness as he chose to walk the high road. Joseph’ courage to forgive was the vehicle through which he began releasing his brothers from the animosity and envy that they carried against him.
Forgiving someone is an Art because it challenges us to refuse to look deeply and historically into the wrongs that someone might have done to us. Many of us could testify to the connections and associations we build automatically in our minds about stuff. For example, I might have given a ride to a neighbor on their way to work and two miles after dropping them off I got into an accident and so the blame game starts to play in my head – “Maybe if I had not been so generous to my neighbor I would never have crashed. ” But the Art of Forgiving goes beyond talk and action it challenges us to forgive in our thinking – developing beautiful pictures of warmth and care for each other in our minds. Beautiful pictures that would help to permanently erase the condemnation we previously had in our minds for others and even ourselves.
How is forgiving Music? Forgiving is Music because it brings people, ideas, questions and food together. Music is a language that everyone can translate and identify with. One line of a song can evoke emotions or even create healing. At the communion table Jesus’ heart went out for each of His disciples as He saw and discerned their thoughts and challenges. Matthew’s observation of the People, Peter’s conveyor belt of Ideas, Thomas’ arsenal of curious Questions and John’s interest in topics relating to Food gave a miniature model of how each of us today has different interests that work together as one. These different interests will sometimes rub and cause friction but forgiveness is the oil that brings solutions and music to our souls.
Music has periods of silence and periods of sound. In the same way that several musical notes come together to create harmony, melody and unison. Forgiving each other establishes harmony in our relationships, melody in our thoughts and unison with our Creator – God.