Devotion - June 20

Our devotions this Saturday come from music director Anthony Spain.

Isaiah 53:3
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Realizing he was going deaf, a young composer began to shut himself away from people out of embarrassment. He then cried out in writing when he was in his young thirties "Oh you people who think me hostile, stubborn and misanthropic, how you wrong me."

Not long afterwards this composer would become completely deaf, and as such would know intensely what it was like to suffer, feel despised and his deafness would afflict him both financially, as well as socially. How would this composer react? In that same written statement above, after considering suicide, he would have a damascene moment and write, but “thanks to it (virtue) and art, I did not end my life” and stated “Almighty God, you look down into my innermost soul, you see into my heart and you know that it is filled with love for humanity and a desire to do good.”

Eventually this composer would go on to compose and give us one of the greatest pieces known to the human race- embracing both humankind and brotherhood. As such, it has been performed in some of the greatest moments of history- for one, the celebrations of a reunited Germany and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.

We are in great need of unity in our society at the moment. Who can show us a way forward?

Below is a link for the piece referenced above - Beethoven’s Symphony #9.

Listening can begin with the famous melody you know as the hymn “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” at 51:10- though the whole symphony is included in this listening link, if you would like to listen to all of it.

Translation of words:
Joy, beautiful spark of Divinity…
All people become brothers
Where thy gentle wing abides.
Whoever has succeeded in the great attempt,
To be a friend's friend…
Gladly, as His suns fly
through the heavens' grand plan
Go on, brothers, your way,
Joyful, like a hero to victory.
Be embraced, Millions!
This kiss to all the world!
Brothers, above the starry canopy
There must dwell a loving Father.
Are you collapsing, millions?
Do you sense the creator, world?
Seek him above the starry canopy!
Above stars must He dwell.
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