7th July 2023
John Reiss comments on
Last June, my wife Mariela and I were treated to an orchestral
performance at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
We both enjoyed the concert.
Some have considered the symphony orchestra may be the most
"finely tuned" metaphor of unity and cooperation ever devised by man.
We can learn a lesson in how to conduct our lives by the way the
musicians in an orchestra discharge their responsibilities.
At the concert, there were a hundred orchestra members
playing a variety of instruments: flutes, clarinets, oboes, trumpets,
They all individually played wonderfully, but led by the conductor,
and following the guidance laid out by the composer, the result was
Every musician played his instrument at just the right time,
and as a result, each member's skills were highlighted in order to
produce a wonderful musical piece.
There are many examples of the benefits of cooperation and teamwork
in the Bible.
One verse that stands out is Psalm 133:1, which says,
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for
brethren to dwell together in unity."
The word "unity" is yachad in Hebrew, and it means "a unit, all at one."
It is from a root that means "join, unite, to be (or become) one."
Yachad is usually translated as "together."
In fact, Psalm 133:1 could probably be translated,
"How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together
in togetherness," as the same word used twice.
Jesus prays for His followers to become
"one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You;
that they may be one in us - that they may be one just as We are One."
Describing the church as the Body of Christ shows how close the unity
should be between us and Him.
Through conversion, we come to have the same views, outlook, motivation,
purpose, and even dreams as our Lord.
12 Christ is like a single body, which has many parts;
it is still one body, even though it is made up of different parts.
13 In the same way, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles,
whether slaves or free, have been baptized into the one body
by the same Spirit, and we have all been given the one Spirit
.....1 Corinthians 12:12-13
So seeing the ideal, how do we arrive at this goal?
The late Richard Valdivia sometimes talked about the time he spent in
Europe during World War II.
He thought that the way that the soldiers and even the whole nation
came together and worked as one was fantastic, and he mused on
how much the church could accomplish if we had the same determination.
The soldiers' cause motivated them to think beyond themselves and outward
to the good of their families, friends, the nation, and even the whole world!
God is bringing us together to work on projects that require our
specific skills to bring His goal to pass.
By utilizing the best talents of a diverse group of people, we can do
a much better job than if just one person handled it alone.
We all see things in different ways, based on our experiences,
education, and our current environments.
We may see the same things, but we see them in ways that
makes sense to us.
God can use people, each with his own experiences and skills,
in a collaborative way to perform incredible works.
In the concert we heard, the music was wonderful because every
member of the orchestra deferred to the others.
At the proper times, their skills were brought to the fore.
If every musician had tried to be the oboist or the flautist or
the violinist or the conductor, imagine the chaos!
An orchestra works when scores of individual musicians each do
their best and submit to one another's skills at the appropriate times.
The result is that each one receives the acclaim due him for his
contributions - everyone is glorified.
God has a plan for each of us; the score has already been written.
Our job is to play our very best.
When we follow our Conductor's lead,
the result will be a symphonic masterpiece.
Bible references avaiable, on request
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