I’ve played piano since I was 10 years old and it was a huge part of my middle and high school years. After discerning that God’s college plans for me did not include majoring in music, I discovered that He gave me the gift of music as simply that . . . to be used as a gift to share with others; a gift HE gave me and will continue to use in me for the rest of my life. Piano in my adult life has almost exclusively consisted of playing during worship services at my church. When I play piano pieces, they become a part of me and I see my role as Christ’s messenger through music. I often look up the lyrics of the songs I’m playing and the background on each piece, as this knowledge adds to my expression in dynamics and presenting a piece in the way Christ would want me to. After all, it’s His message to others, not mine. He’s using me to reach others through song.
This past Sunday, I played an arrangement of Holy Manna. In recent weeks, I’ve been reflecting on the word ‘manna’ and what the word means. I thought of all of the ways that God feeds us, that when I hunger for things of this world, He is the only one who truly nourishes me. It’s pretty amazing when I realize all of the spiritual food He supplies. It’s never-ending.
Manna ~ food; bread; life
Holy manna ~ bread from heaven
When I’m physically hungry, it’s a yearning that nothing can satisfy except food. My body needs it to survive. I can’t continue to grow and thrive and live without it. But, God nourishes my soul in so many different ways with so many different types of foods. When I struggle and shake my fists and don’t understand and want what I want, God’s manna nourishes my soul so I can carry on. To be spiritually fed and full is an amazing feeing. To experience a profound message or read Bible passages that speaks right to me in the moment or hear a song that makes me cry or engage in meaningful conversations or have a mountaintop experience. These are spiritual food. This is God nourishing me. It’s manna . . . holy manna. God speaks to me through these experiences and they feed my faith in different ways. He has a world filled with His messengers. People share their gifts and talents, say what they feel led to share, and deliver messages to others and they’re all part of God’s plan to nourish His people.
God’s food, His manna, is life and energy and peace and grace and love. That hunger in me never goes away. It comes back time and again and I will need this holy food for my entire life, just as I’ll need food to nourish my body until my time on earth has passed.
So, I played Holy Manna at both worship services. As I recited prayers, sang hymns, and listened to the sermon during the service, the words ‘feed them’ kept coming into my head. Feed them with music. Feed their souls with song. This persistent phrase was from Him and I felt this joy-filled charge that as I played that piece, He would nourish those in the congregation with the notes and melody. How amazing that He uses me for something so life-giving.