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The Reveille: Instrumental Songs for Study & Reflection
Writing for “The Reveille”
Writing instrumental “worship” music seems at first to be a paradox. How does one express praise to God without words? Romans 10 tells us that people come to faith in Christ by hearing the Word when someone tells them (v. 14). Then verse 15 tells us about the ones doing the preaching: they are sent. If faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (v. 17), how can instrumental music be used in “preaching” the word of Christ? Or, at very least, in the assistance of the preaching of the word of Christ? How can we be “sent”?
This was a problem that I was keen to consider when I began writing music for The Austin Stone Community Church to use in their in-house films. Our filmmaking team is so high-quality that I knew the music had to be equally stellar. I didn’t want to dash off some quick atmospheric pads and call it a day. I wanted the music to speak on its own, to stand by itself if necessary. And although it takes physically talking about the work of Christ for anyone to come to saving faith, good music can hopefully present a beauty that will make the listener long to find out more. Just as you are intrigued by the author of your favorite book, these songs will hopefully intrigue you find discover more about the Author of life. Our God is a creative God, and what better way to point others to Him by striving to be creative?
That’s how The Reveille was born. “Reveille” is a french word that means “to wake up”. The morning bugle melody that the military uses is called the reveille. It’s a call to arise, to get up and be active for a purpose. As believers, we know that our purpose is great.
I’m always intrigued by Ephesians 3, when Paul mentions that his call was to bring to light the mystery that has been hidden in God (namely, Jesus). But then he says something really interesting. The reason he is pursuing this calling is “so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known…” (Ephesians 3:10, emphasis added). Jesus accomplished the work on our behalf, but He uses the Church as his vehicle for telling the world. If this is not a great purpose for which we should wake up from our slumber, nothing is. Reveille. Get up and go.
“The hour has come for you to wake from sleep.” (Romans 13:11)
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14)
Most importantly, I wanted to base the music that came out of this “arising” solely on what I was reading in Scripture. I am deeply moved by what I read in the Word, and love the idea of taking a single moment and expanding on it. This is what preachers do when they preach expositionally through a passage. This is what photographers do when they capture an image. It’s what I wanted to do with Scripture: take one moment, one verse, one feeling, and expand it into something to dwell on for an extended period of time.
This is why we called the first volume of The Reveille, “Instrumental Songs For Study & Reflection”. The music is meant to help focus your time in the Word and reflecting on the Word. It is NOT meant to replace actual study of Scripture, but rather to help close out the distractions of the world and focus on what the Father is teaching you through His Word. Ideally, it will take you on a journey as you read each page of the Bible. The Bible is the divinely-inspired Word of God. We shouldn’t therefore be surprised that it is then an expertly written story, full of sorrow, joy, despair, pain, longing, and ultimately, redemption. It is an endless source of inspiration for songwriters.
We at Austin Stone Worship hope that you can enjoy this instrumental music and we pray that it will direct you towards Christ, as He speaks to you through Scripture.
[author image=”http://www.vergenetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/KyleLent.jpg” ]Kyle Lent is the Director of Austin Stone Worship and plays guitar for the Aaron Ivey Band. He lives in Austin with his wife, Annie.[/author]