One Instrument at a Time

I thrill to the sound of an orchestra.  One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is to walk into the beautiful Symphony Hall and listen to part of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, deliver their magnificent holiday concert.  I often get goose bumps listening to the harmony of the instruments, noticing how every person’s part counts, and watching the conductor guide and glide the orchestra through the music.  I often close my eyes and smile. The sounds send me to a place of magic and wonderment.

I marvel at how different each instrument is, and notice the passion that comes as each musician plays their own distinct part with all their heart.

And then, today, I saw this video (link is below).  I cried.  My heart swelled with joy as I likened this to God’s church.  This video footage depicts, to me, what happens when each Christian gives their all to God and to each other as the church.  As 1 Corinthians 12:14-28  states, we all have different gifts, but all are needed.  Together we make up the body of Christ.  What happens when one person doesn’t show up?  What happens when one doesn’t give their best or decides they will veer away from the “truth” of the musical scales and play without any care for the notes meant to be followed?  What would happen if there was no leadership, no conductor?   The resulting sound would be a real mess.   The orchestra and listeners would likely cover their ears and walk away.  The whole group would be discouraged and the sound produced would be out of tune, like fingernails on a chalkboard.  Consider these scriptures:  

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,  to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
Ephesians 4:11-17 (NIV)

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

I love how the music in this video begins when one young girl contributes what she has.  We never know what God can and will do with what seems small to us.  

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
Matthew 17:20-21 (NIV)

Whatever you know to do and whatever you have to give to God, do it and give it.  God can take it from there.

And, whatever gift you bring (and we all were uniquely created and all are needed)  give without hesitation.  Don’t hold back.

Notice what happens when one by one the whole group comes together, each giving their part.  People hear it, they see it and they know something special is happening.  They wander in, in awe of what is taking place.  That is how it should be when God’s church truly functions together in unity.  People see, they take note and are drawn to what they see…they want to know how this happened.  For Christians, the harmony happens because Jesus shows us how to give all we have, how to honor one another and that we truly need each other.  We were not created to be a soloist, but part of the most beautiful orchestra ever known to man – that produces powerful, beautiful and amazing music.  Please take time to watch this video clip, realizing that each one of us is desperately needed to be part of God’s symphony.

And then the whole world can take notice, that God is present in this place.

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1 Comment

  1. Joseph Dubowski

    Thanks, Jeanie. Beautiful and moving. Good description of what we are to be as God’s church. Will be sure to share this with others.


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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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