The title for this essay is taken from one of the most encouraging verses in Scripture, 2 Cor. 4:17:
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more and exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
As we begin another year of music ministry, this verse is useful for reflection and encouragement. At one level, the verse reflects the encouraging truth that no matter how great our difficulties, they are only a "light affliction" when viewed in the context of the future glory awaiting those who are "in Christ".
As described in the preceding verses of 2 Cor. 4, difficulties (afflictions) are not optional for the true believer. St. Paul believed that weakness and difficulty were not only important to his ministry, but absolutely essential. He says that our bodies, that is, our "earthen vessels", must be hardened by fire if they are to see the light of eternity. (See verses 7-10) If fact, in 2 Cor. 12:9,10, he affirms that his suffering was the badge of his loyalty to Christ and the source of his power! Thus, from a human perspective, afflictions (or "intense pressure") are bad. But from an eternal view, they are "light afflictions", lasting only a brief moment and providing a great benefit.
But the verse can also be viewed from the standpoint of the phrase "weight of glory". In biblical times, this word meant a "very heavy mass" burden. In this case, the weight is good – it is a continual reminder of the incredible glory that awaits the Christian. Young or old, all Christians have within them this wonderful and weighty reminder of God’s incredible glory!
Perhaps nothing can remind us more of this fact than music. Of course for most people music is a means of entertainment or amusement. But for the Christian – and the choir – it is a significant reminder of what we have within us. Of all the acts of worship, music is a great way to look beyond the physical and see the spiritual – beyond the present to the future. Music is rarely viewed in this way. But it is our responsibility, week by week, to let our music reflect the "weight of glory". May God’s glory be exemplified in our music – and our actions. To God be the Glory!