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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Playing in tune

Pastor Inge Whittemore

East Nelson UMC

9024 18 Mile Road

Cedar Springs MI. 49319


Psalm 100 (NIV): 1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

One of the interesting things about going to an orchestra concert is that the musical instruments can’t automatically play well together. They need to be tuned first. To do so, the first chair oboe player stands up and sounds out an “A” note pitched to 440 MHz  and all of the instrumentalists hear it and tune to that note. 

At first when the orchestra is tuning it sounds really sour. It’s chaos and cacophony and then, as they get closer and closer together the noise becomes coherent. Then the conductor comes out, raps his stand with the baton, raises his hand, all the musicians come to attention and with a downbeat they are off playing in beautiful, exquisite harmony. The chaos is gone and the musical flows. 

The job of the church has always been for people to hear and tune to the same note, which is the message of Jesus Christ. We each need to tune our hearts. We don’t actually play the exact same notes, because we are all different, but what happens is we make beautiful harmony together for the Lord. We are all different but the orchestral arrangement of all of us makes beautiful music for God. Being tuned to Jesus makes it happen!

One of my favorite hymns is a beautiful piece of music composed for God. “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” was written in 1757 by Robert Robinson, who was only 22 when he wrote it.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing

Tune my heart to sing Thy grace

Streams of mercy, never ceasing

Call for songs of loudest praise.

Indeed it is our joy to praise God, even in the face of any storm that may blow into our lives. I love that the Psalmist showed us just how to do it and why! Even our shouts of praise are music to God’s ears.

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