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Is there a secret prophetic chord?

Matt Cossey - Principal of Nexus Institute of Creative Arts

Leonard Cohen’s infamous song, ‘Hallelujah’, opens with a lyric that has always intrigued me.

“I’ve heard there was a secret chord that David played, and it pleased the Lord”

As a Christian and full-time musician this line provokes some profound questions about music. Is there in fact a ‘secret chord’? Is there a formula to writing a God-pleasing song or melody? How do we play music that pleases the Lord? Is it even about the music?

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of playing with Lucy Grimble at Spring Harvest, Minehead. It was an honour to play alongside some really talented musicians as we lead thousands of people in worship. I say ‘we’ because I believe it’s not only the person at the front with the mic that is ‘leading worship’… a topic for another time perhaps!..

On the Tuesday afternoon we rehearsed for the evening meeting. The song list included some firm favourites like ‘Waymaker’ and ‘10,000 Reasons’, but I was also pleased to see ‘Everlasting God (Strength Will Rise)’ – it had been quite some time since I’d played this. When we came to play this song we shared a sense that it felt relevant and timely. However, something was missing...

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