The lights of the church sanctuary dimmed as a respectful hush swept over the congregation. Seconds later, a lone pianist began a familiar melody. His left hand articulated an infectious syncopated beat while his right hand voiced the catchy lead lines. It was the crowd favorite instrumental piece, “Linus and Lucy”, written by the great jazz pianist, Vince Guaraldi, for the television Christmas special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.
Debuting in 1965, this animated masterpiece has become a Christmas tradition for millions throughout the world and no one can hear this song without reliving fond memories of the first time they watched the show. This church was celebrating their annual Christmas pageant and chose to begin their celebration with this iconic song.
My older cousin was a member of this church and served on the worship team. An excellent pianist, he mastered this intricate song as a teenager. Not surprisingly, he was adept at playing many different songs and genres, but this composition was his piece de resistance! Christmas programs, easter programs, church productions, birthday parties, family gatherings…my cousin got a lot of mileage from this song! And we never tired of listening to him! In so many different settings, this song seemed to perfectly fit. He mastered a complex theme, repeated it, then repeated it again!
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7 (ESV)
Some of the greatest saints of the Bible have focused upon the same theme. Moses exhorted the Hebrews to remember how God rescued them from the Egyptians and provided for all of their needs for 40 years of wandering through the desert. The Apostle John’s simple and consistent message, echoed in the Bible verse above, was repeated at every meeting in the last years of his life. “Little children, love one another!” The early Church tradition recorded that his disciples would grow tired of hearing John repeat this at every gathering and asked him, ““Master, why do you always say this?” John replied, “It is the Lord’s command. And if this alone be done, it is enough!”
Love one another.
The simplicity belies the complexity. In every situation and throughout the Apostle John’s five books of the Bible, this theme is pervasive. John learned it directly from His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He wrote about it and repeated it as often as he could.
Master a complex theme, repeat it, then repeat it again! It is good formula for music and an even better one for our life with God!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.