Beethoven’s Freedom



Last Sunday Valeri led the meeting with a discussion that compared Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testament to Romans 7:14-25. The Heiligenstadt Testament was a letter that Beethoven wrote in 1802 confessing to his brothers that he had been hiding his deafness for the last six years. In his letter, he expresses with agony how he looks forward to death, and how only his art prevents him from suicide. Beethoven even wrote out a final word to only be read after his death, though he would not die for another 25 years. Knowing that Romans 6 speaks concerning the body of sin and how it was dealt with by Christ,  that Romans 7 describes the conflict of having a body that is dead to sin but alive to Christ (v10-11), and Romans 8 describes the victory of Christ over this conflict, how would you approach someone like Beethoven? We talked hypothetically about what to say to a person who  is in such a state of anguish, and what you would ask them. Regardless of whether or not that person knows God, His words do carry power.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

The Lord indeed has compassion on you and knows your pain. It’s easy sometimes to forget just how present he is and forget that He hears every prayer. How marvelous would it be if we remembered to pray to him before every rehearsal, before every performance, and at every inner crisis?

Heather made this important mention: If you find yourself in a situation where you’re talking to someone who wants to commit suicide, remember that for the most past it has to do with self-worth. Even if it means nothing to them that God cares about them and sees worth, just being there for them to listen and talk with them and show them that you care –that they indeed matter to you–can make a big difference.

2 Corinthians 4


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