Foundry United Methodist Church

Rev. Dean Snyder, Senior Minister




Meditation: The Melody of Life

Sunday, December 11, 2005



Ephesians 5: 15-20

Rev. Dean Snyder


“The days are evil,” Ephesians says. Ephesians is not a Pollyanna book. Yes, the writers of Ephesians believe that Christ is present and powerful in the cosmos and in our daily lives, but so are the principalities and powers, and spiritual forces in high places. Life can be hard. “The days are evil.”


And the days refer especially to our life in the world – our work, our daily activities, that which we do to survive and hopefully to make a contribution to the greater good, other people.


The days can be hard: “The days are evil.” 


So how do we handle the hard days?


Well, first of all, Ephesians says what not to do. Do not get drunk with wine.


This was a particular problem for the early church. Wine was such a central part of the church’s worship. Communion was a meal. Wine was a big part of the meal. It helped to loosen the spirits. But when the days were hard, it was tempting to anesthetize oneself with the communion wine, to escape, as it still is.


And, of course, wine is only one for-instance of the many ways, the cookies we use to make ourselves feel better when the days are evil, as they are.


Ephesians proposes an alternative to getting drunk on wine or power or sex or attention: music – psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to the Lord in our hearts.


Here is the difference between wine – all the ways we try to anesthetize ourselves, really, to escape – and psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.


Music takes us more deeply into life and captures all the pain and joy, evil and good, and transforms it into beauty, into life.


This is what Handel has done in the Messiah – plunged himself into the pain and longing, disappointment and pathos of life, taken us into the depth of the evil of the days, so that we might rise to the beauty and glory and joy of a God who is born to us in the midst of all this.


So, as Ephesians says, let us not get drunk on wine or power, but let us be filled with the spirit as we sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and make melody to the Lord in our hearts.