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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

20 March 2013: Jon Piper, Hope Church

Why Music?

One of the most surprising things about my children has been that they seemed to be born with an instinctive understanding of music. We never taught them to appreciate a melody, they did it without help and loved it.

My youngest, in particular, probably spent 25% of his time as a three year old running around, singing the theme from Indiana Jones. It just made him feel good.

Music seems to be immensely important to us as humans. We punctuate our lives with it. The pop tunes that my mum played when I was a child still make me feel giddy. The tune that my wife walked down the aisle to still fills me with nerves and excitement. I occasionally give thought to which music I would like people to remember me by at my funeral.

Our lives as a community are also strewn with music, in the weekly charts and through our TV screens, as we gather in concerts, as vehicles for our nationalistic fervour. Music can gather a disparate bunch of people together, uniting them in feeling and intent. When churches sing together, it strengthens their communities.

I often wonder why God created music. It doesn't do anything. You can't make bridges from it, eat it or save somebody from drowning with it.

I wonder if its job is to simply reflect God's nature and the creatures He gave life to. It is beautiful, full of creativity, gives birth to love and community, refreshing like an oasis in the desert.


This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Herald on 26 April; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

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