Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Common Meter

In poetry or music, Common Meter is a poetic meter consisting of four lines that alternate between iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter.  These ones consist of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.  Perhaps the most commonly known example is the song "Amazing Grace."

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

The interesting thing about the meter in songs is that for any songs in the same meter, the words and melodies can easily be interchanged.

Think of the tune to "Amazing Grace," but sing the words of "Joy to the World"...

Joy to the world, the Lord is comeLet Earth receive her KingLet every heart prepare Him roomAnd Heaven and nature sing.

Or think of the tune to "Amazing Grace," but the words of  "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing":

O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer's praise
The glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of His grace!

Unless you think this is limited to hymns, try the tune of "Amazing Grace" and these lyrics:

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.

(The theme song to the television show, "Gilligan's Island.")

The point of this is not a music lesson, but rather a lesson in finding that which is common between us.

It seems so often in this day and time people seem to focus upon the areas where they disagree.  However, when we emphasize that upon which we agree instead of that upon which we disagree, we will find we have so much to agree upon, especially when conversing with fellow believers.

Even with those who do not trust in the Lord Jesus surely we can find some point of agreement.  We should always begin by concentrating on that which we have in common.

The point should never be to win an argument or to feel like we have convinced the other person that our way is superior, but to enter into a relationship with that person.  Relationships require mutual respect and sharing, giving and taking. This cannot be done if we are intent upon winning an argument.  While we cannot agree with what is in opposition to the character and nature of God, there is no place for a disregard for others, regardless of their beliefs.  

There is not a person on this earth who cannot truthfully sing "Jesus Loves Me," for He loves everyone.  Each person we encounter is a person for whom the Lord Jesus Christ died.  If our Lord loves everyone and desires everyone to know Him in spirit and truth, how much more should we, as His children, show them respect and love?

So perhaps they do not want to sing the same words to the song as we do, let us concentrate on the common meter of the music.  Perhaps in time, we will learn to sing in unison the same song.

"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."  

Romans 12:17

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