Musikalisch means musical in German, and my German grandfather truly was musically gifted. He never took a music lesson but played piano, drums, banjo, and ukulele very well. In 1930, when swing music played by the big bands was all the rage, he started his own 10-piece band in our city. His group of young men played the many local music halls of the times, enjoying themselves and bringing happiness to many during the anxiety-filled days of the Great Depression.
My grandfather never lost his love of music, and he was found in front of his television set in his later years whenever Lawrence Welk would come on. If you were in his living room, you sat quietly and let him listen to the program until he would stand up and grab someone’s hand to dance around the room with them.
Beautiful music is a gift given by God through the hands and voices of many. Good music soothes, comforts, inspires, and energizes us. But just as true, some music is just noise in the ear of the listener, bringing an unhealthy message or the clanging together of the wrong instruments. The bible compares those who do not have true love towards their fellowman to a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal—brash noise:
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. 1 Corinthians 13:1
Biblical love is somewhat of a mystery to us, yet we can take comfort in 1 Corinthians 13:1 when we learn that our genuine love for others grows out of our awareness of and trust in God’s great love for us. This truth frees us to truly love one another and express it by honest actions, not through a selfish desire to be admired. The bible says that it is possible to do great deeds and not have true love in one’s heart, for motives are part of love or the lack of it. If it isn’t genuine love, it’s just noise.