Nov 5, 2012

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MEDITATION: Music to die with

There is music that is so movingly rare and beautiful that you almost get this uncanny feeling that you will be able to die in peace when these sounds are ringing in you ears.

One such song is the gripping Ukuthula from the Zulu tradition.

I heard the song for the first time in the eighties during a gathering of the Taizé brothers in Johannesburg. Bishop Tutu at the time arranged for them to come to South Africa to introduce us to their special blend of contemplative spirituality. Also to acquaint us with their own exquisite music.

And then they surprised us by using one of our own traditional songs – Ukuthula.

Surrounded by a few thousand young black people in the Standard Bank Arena, singing and chanting this song as a mighty testimony, I was during that time totally overwhelmed by the music.

And then at the home of friends the other evening I saw a video clip of Ukuthula, and I realised again: with these words and melody sounding in my heart and ears I shall one day surely be able to die with joy and peace.

Because the song – and these are the words – reminds us that in a broken world full of sin, the blood of Christ whispers peace, redemption, praise, victory and comfort.

This may be an old message, but those who listen to it with open hearts will know: it is also good tidings, now and forever.

Carel Anthonissen

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