Return to God

Return to God

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Sometime during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in 16th century England, Thomas Tallis, considered the country’s greatest living composer, turned his attention to the book of Lamentations. His country had been through a time of turbulence with four sovereigns within a few short years. There had been tension and turmoil.

Lamentations had inspired other composers, particularly writing for Holy Week services. But, as one scholar commented, in his two-part composition, Tallis provided “the yardstick by which every set of Lamentations of the period is judged.” More than in any other piece, here his style is “perfectly on display.”

Tallis’ haunting treatment still impacts listeners today, more than 400 years after it was written. We feel the emotion. How horrible it was to see God’s people reject Him, turn their back on His Word, and be taken into exile. To sense the pain caused by their rejection.

Both parts of Tallis’ composition sought to express the grief of Lamentations. But Tallis provided an important perspective, by ending each part with this quote: “Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity” (Hosea 14:1).

Thus, in Tallis’ hands, this music became a cry for repentance. Urging people to recognize their sins and the problems they faced. Here was the answer: returning to God.

Today, as we look at the world, our hearts can break. We see suffering and wars. Divisions and discord. Poverty and fear. Disease and death. Everywhere we see sin, and people turning their backs on God! What is the answer? To return to Him.