Friday, February 17, 2017

Vivaldi’s Legacy

(submitted by Kerry Patton)
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.   2 Corinthians 3:2-3
“Alexa, Play Vivaldi”
As I am writing this, it is Friday before the Super Bowl.  Friday’s are normally my day off from serving at the church, and my day to catch up doing normal things.  There is laundry to do, projects that I have in progress, general house work and maintenance, and an opportunity for me to also be still and rest as well.
On this particular Friday, my wife Laura has also taken off and we are tag teaming in these home duties.  Only minutes ago, we were both working in the kitchen unloading and loading the dishwasher.  To make the time go more enjoyably, I spoke a command to our Amazon Echo: “Alexa, play Vivaldi.” To which the device replied: “Playing music by Antonio Vivaldi.”  And beautiful music began to play.
It’s Not About the Device
As I worked there in the kitchen with Laura, I asked in passing: “I wonder if Vivaldi had any idea that his compositions would be played over the World Wide Web, in my kitchen, on an electronic listening interface, two hundred and sixty-six years after he died?”  The answer of course, would be ‘No’. How could he?  How could any of us have imagined even twenty years ago what wonders technology would bring about. 
But this writing is not about the technology.  It’s about the music.  It’s still playing as I continue to type for you.  It’s Vivaldi’s legacy…the body of musical composition that he left behind him when he passed from this earth.  And people all over the world are still being affected by what he did almost three hundred years ago.
As a musician, songwriter, singer, and artist in my own recordings, I have on occasion wondered if my music will live on after I pass from this world.  Perhaps for a while, but probably not across generations...The point is that while the songs I have written and sung may or may not be remembered, these are not my legacy!  My legacy is being written in the lives that I have taken time to touch, the children I raise, and the friendships I make and maintain.  My legacy, and truly yours as well, is the eternal effect of the words we have spoken for Jesus, and the love we have shown others in Jesus’ name.  Each of these affect the future and are passed forward through time.  As the love of Christ is communicated and passed from generation to generation; as souls are converted to Christ and disciple into maturity, the eternal destiny of persons is being written.  Eternal destiny...Changed lives and changed hearts are a legacy that each of us sow into the fertile soil of the future. 
These are our greatest witness that the Gospel of the living Christ is not merely a religious tale, but a living testimony that is effective and eternal in how it transforms lives.  With no disrespect intended to the vast repertoire of Vivaldi, these are our symphonies, these are our love songs, these are the legacies that will shine in generations to come, and for all eternity through the lives of those who follow.

Almighty God, let our greatest witness to the future not be engraved on tablets of stone, nor recorded in halls or museums, but on human hearts and lives.  Use us this day, and every day to affect the lives of those around us for your Kingdom.  Make us sowers of souls, singers of hope and healing, and may our legacies be written in the lives we guide into eternity in Christ Jesus.   In Jesus’ holy name I pray, Amen.

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