Thank you, Mr. Beethoven

violin scroll

My eldest son, A., has acquired a passion for Ludwig van Beethoven‘s 9th symphony, 4th movement.  [I can’t figure out how to embed video, so you’ll have to click the link if you’d like to hear/watch it.]  Much as I love Beethoven’s music, especially his 9th symphony, I do wish I didn’t have to listen to it every morning.  I suppose I should be more grateful that he isn’t turning on The Wiggles or something else more sinister.

Ode to Joy‘ is so packed full of emotion, so full of ecstasy, in the old-fashioned sense of the word, that my chest gets tight, a lump sits in my throat, and I feel like bursting into tears every time the full choir joins the soloists and orchestra.  This happens every morning.  So much majesty, so much joy in 29 minutes.  I feel deeply happy but wrung out by the end of it.  It’s a little much to handle every morning.

On the other hand, it’s good to be reminded that the amount of beauty cram-packed into world is an awesome thing.  Beethoven doesn’t allow me to take it for granted.  Last night I went to bed shortly after listening to the national news, which was chock-full of reminders that the world is a fallen place, awaiting the restoration and renewal that the return of Christ will bring.  This morning I begin my day with Beethoven’s overwhelming reminder that this earth, these lives, are not in vain; that the over-arching trajectory of creation and life is toward the goodness of God.

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