Reviewed by SUSAN E. RICHARDSON
Christian musician John Michael Talbot offers fellow artists a rich devotional parable with The Master Musician. God, of course, is the Master who extends us His grace as He shapes us into instruments for His use. Unlike a physical instrument, we have a choice to cooperate with the Master and do our part. Once we are prepared, then we can move on to sharing our gifts in community, which Talbot compares to various musical groups.
In the first portion on God’s grace, the author starts with comparisons to cutting and shaping a guitar, and how this parallels our process of becoming God’s instrument. Talbot takes what could be an obvious metaphor and moves more deeply into the nuances of instrument making, applying various stages to Christian development in meaningful ways.
God made us in His image, allowing us to share His creativity as musicians, opening the door for the second section on our response. Again the author moves beyond the surface aspects of practicing to look at styles of music and what we can learn from each. All types of musical expression have a place. He then finishes with a section on community, comparing various sized groups from a symphony down through chamber music to solos with living together as Christians.
The Master Musician is accessible to all readers, though music lovers will find the comparisons resonate most strongly. Consider using this book to deepen your understanding of God’s work in and through you.