Out of Ivory Palaces

Every time I step through the doors of Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, I fall under its majestic spell.




During a private tour of the three-year-old limestone building this weekend, a lone cellist practiced on the auburn Brazilian cherry-wood platform in the concert hall. The lush rasp of his bow over the strings surrounded us with music even up in the balcony, as if the instrument were whispering its melody right into our ears.


I am overwhelmed by both the beauty of strings and the artistry of an elegant building like the Schermerhorn. As it turns out, so was the king whose wedding is the subject of Psalm 45: “Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made you glad” (verse 8, NAS).


This king is, in fact, a portrait of the King of all kings—royal and gorgeous and spotlessly good. The book of Hebrews puts the words of Psalm 45 into the mouth of God, spoken to His only Son (Hebrews 1:8-9).


It’s no surprise that symphonies and sculpted stones make even the God of heaven glad. He infused the world with pink cherry blossoms and bright red birds. He fashioned man and woman in His own creative image.


His creativity is the expression of His own nature; our creativity is evidence of His existence. Delight in created beauty connects our spirits with His. Beauty magnetizes us because it is meant to draw us closer to the King, the true object of our deepest desires.


Next time you are swept away with the glory of symphony or poetry or stained and sparkling glass, remember that the thrill of worship is ultimately destined for the King. Remember that in every moment of beauty He waits, adorned with scars-turned-regal, for us to see the nature of His love.



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