Our grandson’s group violin recital this week was a treat. It opened with beautiful music from the advanced students. Then I admired the cute, earnest beginners. And as the music continued under the cross in the front of the church where the event was held, I realized how these details symbolize the beauty, diversity and unity of the Body of Christ.
–A wide variety of ages and abilities were represented, but as the beginners played along with more advanced students for certain pieces, they ALL sounded good.
–The variety extended to the race of the students—Asian, Black, Caucasian, and Indian.
–Just one teacher is teaching them all.
–All the violins were tuned to exactly the same pitch (by the teacher) before the recital.
–Students are learning leadership skills as they took turns leading the others in various pieces.
–The students are being trained to keep their eyes on the leader so they can all make beautiful music together.
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all. However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. …He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (Ephesians 4:3-7, 16 NLT)
My husband and I are the delighted owners of a new painting which is now gracing our living room wall.
Not knowing much about art, I have no idea if this painting has “perspective,” but it did bring to mind a message we heard recently about how we should view our present realities of suffering and frustration, death and decay. (Romans 8:18-23)
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
The two points from which we get proper perspective are the Cross (past) and Glory (future). Then all the present, in-between stuff falls into proper place.
As the Israelites looked back on the Exodus from Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea as their reference point, we look back to the Cross as our point of deliverance and identity. And as they looked beyond their wilderness wanderings to being at home in their own beautiful land, we look ahead to a home in heaven. That perspective helps me make sense of today—and tomorrow—and the next day.