Sunday’s Scripture ~ Proverbs 22:8
This week the Reeves community welcomes several musical guests to worship. The first is Ms. Delicia Egerton – the director of the Orlando Community Center Children’s Choir. She will sing our showtune feature for this week – I Know Where I’ve Been from the musical Hairspray. The second is the Cross and Flame Youth Choir from Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood, AL. They will sing several anthems throughout the worship service. I am so excited to have these talented folks join us this week!!!
An additional treat is that my middle school orchestra teacher – Mrs. Jodi Haskins – is a chaperone with the youth choir from Trinity UMC. I have not seen her in person in years! Mrs. Haskins – along with my other music teachers and directors – helped to grow my love for music – a love that I have had since infancy. She and they taught me music appreciation, instrument fundamentals, and the technicals of music theory. As I reflect upon the Scripture passage for this week a certain technical of music theory comes to mind – leading tones.
A “leading tone” is a note or pitch that resolves or leads to a note one half-step higher or lower that the original tone. For example, in a C-major scale the notes are C D E F G A B C; a leading tone in this scale is the B that resolves in the C.
(Please forgive this over-simplistic theory lesson – but we do not need to go too technical.)
What I appreciate about leading tones is that they are going somewhere. They are somewhat volatile, reactive pitches. There is energy behind them. Anticipation is created within them. Anticipation can quickly become angst if the leading tone is not resolved. Progress needs to be made. Move the piece of music forward. Follow the leading tone through the next phase of the song.
This week’s Scripture passage contains a leading tone and the leading tone is within the word “will.” “Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of anger will fail.” That will indicates that present circumstances are going somewhere. That will is somewhat volatile and reactive. There is energy behind it. Anticipation is created within it. And anticipation quickly becomes angst if the will is left too long to resolve. Progress needs to be made.
God says sowers of injustice will reap calamity and that the rod of anger will fail. Our God is trustworthy. Our God is the guarantor of promises made. Our God…does not work alone. We are caught up in that will with God. We are instruments of God’s peace with justice in the world. We are partnered with God in leading tone moments – in our own lives, in our community, and in the Kingdom.
What are leading tone moments? They are those moments where you come to a fork in the road and resolution is necessary. Which way will I turn? What decision will I make? What outcome will that bring? It is God’s desire that our leading tone moments further God’s justice in the world, that our decisions give life and reflect the one who created us.
We are all working, living, serving towards our ultimate resolution – the time of complete resurrection. Every moment until that time, then, is a leading tone moment, where we can act with God’s help to more fully bring about the Kingdom or not. What leading tone moments are you currently experiencing? How does God want you to resolve? What resolution will you bring to the Kingdom?
Prayer: “Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changes not, abide with me. I need thy presence every passing hour. What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be? Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me. I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if thou abide with me.”* Amen.
*”Abide with Me,” The United Methodist Hymnal, 700.