The Spanish class shifted in their chairs, listening twice to Gabriel Rodriguez’s chapel message on the purpose of music, first in the Puerto Rican’s native tongue and then repeated by interpretation into English. Rodriguez is Maranatha’s 2014 Artist Series concert performer, a classical guitarist who earned his bachelor’s and master’s at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico and teaches at the Puerto Rico Baptist College. For Spanish chapel, however, which meets every Thursday, Rodriguez chose not to play his music, but rather to talk about the biblical purpose of music. “Before we can talk about what kind of music is the correct kind, we have to talk about what is the purpose of music,” Rodriguez explained. He chose Colossians 3:16 as his text.
Music is powerful and, therefore, cannot be taken lightly when it is a part of worship. According to the words in Colossians, the words of Christ must dwell in us and teach and admonish us through songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. “Music prepares our hearts for the message, but music already provides a message,” Rodriguez said, as Anna Witan and Allie Hull interpreted his words for those in the audience who could not understand Spanish.