Monday, February 12, 2007

TUNING THE CHURCH PIANOS



In our church we appreciate good music. However, good singing can be undermined by a piano that is out of tune, so as a rule we have our Kwai Baby Grand tuned twice a year. I have since discovered that two tunings a year may not be sufficient. William White, piano technician wrote, "If a piano is neglected, if it be allowed to go through from one season to another, say, from Spring to Winter, without tuning, it will probably at the end of that time be considerably lower in pitch. It will have gone through a rise, followed by a fall, and the fall will be greater than the first rise.” Admittedly I know very little about the art of tuning a piano, but I do understand that “a fall which exceeds a previous rise can’t be good”. I also know from a strict scientific standpoint that there is no such thing as a “perfectly tuned piano”. The constant temperature and barometric changes as well as the relative humidity in a room will always affect the pitch of a piano to some degree. We must live with the reality that our church piano will always sound “less than perfect”. This is not a big problem. I am very content with our Kwai. It makes beautiful music. There is however something else on the subject of ‘being in tune’ that is of spiritual importance to God’s people. How can a body of believers assembled together for worship make a beautiful sound to the ears of the risen Savior if they are “out of tune”? Not musically out of tune, but spiritually out of tune with each other. I am of course speaking about a lack of unity in the local church. The church at Ephesus was commanded to “endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). Bear in mind that unity was something they possessed on the basis of their common salvation. The struggle was to maintain on a functional level what they possessed on a positional level in Christ who drew them together as members of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19) . Just as there are many factors at work that interfere with the harmony of strings on a musical instrument, there are many factors working to destroy the harmony and peace of a Christian congregation. Chief among them is the great enemy of all godly endeavors, Satan, who knows that visible Christian unity glorifies God. Therefore, we should not be surprised that he will utilize every tool and trick at his disposal to create strife and division in the church. We are engaged in a great spiritual battle that knows no respite even when we come together as believers. This is why Paul prayed in Romans 15:5-6: “ Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ". Brethren, there is no formula that will guarantee our being of “one mind”, but the Bible does point us to the source of godly unity. The source is the Holy Spirit working in each and every believer (Ephesians 4:3; Ephesians 5:18-21) to glorify Christ as Jesus said, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: (John 16:13-14). The Spirit glorifies Christ most by conforming each believer to His image. In this process corporate unity is achieved. A.W. Tozer employed the analogy of piano tuning to describe how it works. He said, “If a hundred pianos were merely tuned to each other, their pitch would not be very accurate. But if they were all tuned to one tuning fork, they would automatically be tuned to each other". Similarly, unity in the church isn't trying to be the same as everyone else. It is not uniformity! We are individuals with different personalities, strength, weaknesses, preferences, gifts, etc. In short, we a group of many different pianos. Without abandoning our “unity on the essentials of our faith” we can retain our individuality and still be joined together in a way that will please and glorify God by becoming like Jesus Christ. We must all be, “ tuned to His likeness”. When all is said and done it is not “my way” or “your way” that matters, it is “His way”. Jesus having “His way” in all of our hearts is the key to church unity and unity in our homes.

Psalm 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Our God will reign forever and ever!
Pastor Tom

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