One of the ways we introduce minor keys to a child is to talk about “happy” music and “sad” music. “Sad sounding” merely touches the surface of what makes a key minor, but it’s a good place to start, especially with a young elementary school child, or even an adult non-musician.
Often at the end of a minor (sad sounding) composition, the third note will be raised to the note it would have been if it were the parallel major, something we call a Piccardy third. Suddenly something that sounded “sad” sounds “happy,” if only for that final chord. That’s what I want you to think about this morning—a sad song becoming happy.
I think we have done the Lord a grave disservice by promising our new converts a happy and peaceful life. We are preaching a “health and wealth gospel” as strongly as any televangelist when we do so. What about the “cross” Jesus says we must take up? What about his promise that men would “hate you?” What about Paul telling Timothy, “Yes and all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” 2 Tim 3:12? Jesus said to count the cost before committing to him. How can people do that when we tell them that all their problems will be solved as long as they get wet and sit on a pew?
When I try to make Christianity a panacea for life’s ills, I am putting too much emphasis on the sad music of my life and not enough on the ending “Piccardy third.” God gives us the promise of an eternal and joyful reward—at the end, not necessarily in the middle.
How did Moses give up the wealth and power that would have been at his disposal? By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. Heb 11:24,26. Do you see that? He considered those things “fleeting.” He understood that relative to eternity, his 120 years of life was nothing. Most of us will be lucky to live 2/3 that amount of time and we still can’t give up what Moses would have considered “the lesser wealth.”
Life may be in a minor key for us. In fact, Jesus promises that it will be in many cases, and often because of him. But he leaves us with the promise that one day the joy will be unfathomable and unlimited. Yet only those who suffer through the minor key “for his name’s sake” will enjoy a Piccardy third at the end—a time when the happy music takes over, a new song we will sing forever.
"Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets, Luke 6:22,23.