Music of Love

“When Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a young man, living with his father Leopold (himself a fine musician) in Vienna, he is said to have played a trick on him from time to time. Young Wolfgang would come home from spending a riotous evening with his friends; his father would already be asleep in bed. Wolfgang would go to the piano, and would play, loudly, a rising scale of notes, getting slower and louder as they reached the resolution at the top of the scale … and then he would stop, one note short, and go to bed himself. Old Leopold, so the story goes, would toss and turn in bed as the unfinished scale came into his dreams and imagination. The frustration of having one’s musical senses aroused in that way without resolution would become too hard to bear. Eventually he would have to drag himself from his slumbers, stagger downstairs, and play the last note. No doubt he had ways of getting his own back, but that is another story. What we are concerned with here is the way in which Paul describes the call of love, and of life itself, as an unfinished scale, going ahead of us into God’s future. The music of love, which will one day be completed, is therefore not just our duty. It is our destiny” (N. T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians [London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2004], 175–76).