August 1996
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The Farewell Symphony

The young musicians hired to play for the Duke of Austria’s summer festivities were ready to go home. Summer was over and they were tired, but the Duke kept them there.

The brilliant classical composer Franz Joseph Haydn was sympathetic and offered to help them. So he composed a unique symphony that began with full orchestra. As the symphony progressed, fewer instruments were included in the score. One by one, as their parts were finished, the musicians took their instruments and walked off the stage.

By the end of the composition, only two musicians remained—the first and second violinists playing a beautiful duet. The Duke got the point. Shortly afterward, he sent the grateful musicians home. To this day Haydn’s Symphony No. 45 is known as “The Farewell Symphony.”

God’s people are part of another farewell symphony. One by one, God is calling His people home when their part is completed (Phil. 1:19-26).

We’ve all known servants of God who have left the stage of this life. They’re in a better place. And one day, perhaps soon, the trumpet of God will sound for all who believe on Him. What a day of rejoicing that will be!

We grieve the death of those we love,
We miss their company;
But if they knew and loved the Lord,
Someday with them we'll be. —Sper

At death, God's people don't say "goodbye" but "We'll see you later."