Solo or Symphony?

As the auditorium lights dimmed and the curtain began to rise, the concertgoers ended their con­versations and turned their attention to the stage. The conductor strode to the podium and bowed in response to enthusiastic applause.

Then the conductor turned to face the orches­tra. He raised his baton and began the concert with a dramatic gesture. What followed was one of the strangest concerts imaginable.

After the harmonious first minutes, only a few musicians continued to follow the conductor’s lead. The others seemed to play only when they felt like it, or they played a completely different tune. A violinist sauntered out in front and tried to perform a piece he had written himself. A trom­bonist broke into a jazz number. Chaos reigned. The audience sat for several minutes in stunned si­lence, then walked out in disbelief.

Fortunately, the situation described above is fictitious. Skilled musicians, who agree to play in an orchestra simply do not behave that way. They sign on with the agreement that they will follow the conductor's lead. They are part of a symphony, not soloists who just happened to be playing at the same time.

Unfortunately; we who have declared ourselves to be followers of Christ can behave as the mem­bers of that imaginary orchestra did. We may not like to think so, but we have a tendency to want to direct our own lives. We tend to focus on self-survival and self-promotion, and we think we are wise enough and strong enough to take care of ourselves.

Every instrument in the orchestra has a part to play. Every musician playing the instrument must know the music well and follow the sheet music. In our fellowship in a local congregation the same principle obtains. Paul wrote, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” – Eph. 4:15-16.

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