We loved visiting New York City’s the Cloisters Museum. Located in Upper Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, it offers panoramic vistas across the Hudson River to the Palisades of New Jersey, near where I served two churches. The Cloisters specializes in medieval architecture and art.
Something unforgettable happens there in a smallish room, which contains dozens of audio speakers for surround sound. We stand in a circle listening to the most gorgeous Gothic chants. Ethereal tones like we’ve never heard before. Such blissful, euphonic and celestial music makes it hard to tear ourselves away.
This triggers a thought, something found in the Old Testament. Job 26: 14–‘Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him!’ Experiencing God happens only by winks and whispers. The fullness comes later.
The Apostle Paul understands. He recounts something like an out-of-body experience that takes him to the outskirts of heaven. To paradise, he says. What does he see? Something breathtaking. Indescribable. But actually that’s not how he puts it–‘and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter’ (2 Cor. 12:4). ‘…he heard things…’ It’s not what he sees with his eyes that he can’t talk about, but what he hears. Again, Job says we only hear whispers of God’s glory.
As wonderful as that Cloisters surround sound was, I can only imagine (unlike John Lennon) how stunning the notes of heaven will be. No whispers anymore. Lots of harmony with parts perfectly blended. Overtones galore.
Such a choir. The best is that we’ll be season-ticket holders, while also being permanent resident singers of God’s praises forever!
For music of praise, we thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen.