Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Symphony, Life, and The Church

     We went to the symphony last night and enjoyed an evening of beautiful music.  But even more than listening to a beautiful performance I came away pondering life lessons.  As I observe the workings of the orchestra I'm always struck by the parallels with life I see as they warm up, tune up, and come under the guidance of the conductor.  The 'noise' of each person playing his own tune while warming up is not pleasant--just as in life when each person goes his own way, doing his own thing it is not pleasant.  Then as the concertmaster begins to encourage them to tune their instruments to the oboe's 'A',  I begin to hear possibilities.  As the conductor enters, all eyes are on him and when he signals for them to begin, astonishingly beautiful music comes forth.  Each instrument is needed.  Some play more than others.  Some sections of the orchestra in which there are several of the same instruments, like the violins, play the same melody at the same time.  Others have solo parts.  Last night a cowbell was used to play only 2 notes the entire evening but it was an important part to be played--the performance would have been incomplete without those two notes.  Others played the entire concert.
      Isn't that how it is when we fix our attention on God?  He knows which of us needs to be played at the precise time to make a situation complete. And nothing but beauty can come forth when our eyes are on Him because He is beautiful!
    This morning I was thinking of the symphony in relation to church services.  If the musicians came as unprepared for the symphonic performance as we do to participate in church there would be no reason to have the performance.  Do we spend the week before, practicing, listening to the songs we will be singing, seeking to hear His voice?  Are we filling our minds with God's Word?
     The conductor shared that one of the compositions they played last night, "The Moldau" by Smetana, was a piece he listened to over and over when he was a child of 3 or 4 years old.  At that young age his mother had given him an LP recording of "The Moldau" to play in his room at night.  He loved it so much, he listened to it as often as he could!
     Do we do this with God's word?  Are we filling our minds with it?  Do we sing songs of praise and worship every spare moment during the week so we can sing them flawlessly with feeling and purpose on Sunday?  The musicians in the symphony love music so much they are willing to give up many other things to immerse themselves in it.  Do we love God that much?
       Some people want to argue that spending time in prayer, reading the Word, and helping others is 'works', but we are saved by grace.  Absolutely we are saved by grace!  Jesus payed the price--we need  do nothing to supplement His sacrifice.  So, just as any person who says they love music can enjoy a musical performance we can agree that Jesus' sacrifice was enough and be saved.  But is that the only reason we're here on earth--to be a spectator and wait to go to Heaven?  Wouldn't it glorify Him so much more if we would submit ourselves to the Great Conductor as finely tuned, well practiced instruments so that He can make us into a symphony for His glory and thereby bring others into His Kingdom, too?
     If we want to be part of making beautiful music we must fill our minds with that beautiful music.  We must tune our instruments and practice using them so they're ready for the Conductor to use in any way he knows will bring honor and glory to Himself.
     Wouldn't our church services be lovely if we brought the same dedication to God that musicians bring to a musical performance?

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