Summary: Like instruments in an orchestra playing the same piece of music, so should all the members of the church and when the church is out of tune, it can get ugly. Four ways Jesus tells us we can tune up our lives.
I really enjoy listening to a great symphony orchestra performing classical music. One of my favorite composers is Johann Sebastian Bach. His most famous composition was “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Here’s a little bit of trivia about Bach that you might not know. Bach was often so engrossed in composing music that he wouldn’t take time to eat lunch. This wasn’t healthy, so his wife started packing a lunch for him to take to his studio. She would include a sandwich and some fruit. At lunch Bach would stop and eat the sandwich and fruit—so now you know where we got the term Bach’s lunch!
The word “church” is one of the most important words in the New Testament; it appears over 100 times. The Greek word for church is ecclesia, which means literally means, “called out ones.” Here’s a little Bible trivia question for you: How many times does the word “church” appear in the four gospel accounts? If you answered “three” you would be correct. The first time Jesus used the word church was in Matthew 16 when He said, “Upon this rock I will build my church.” The other two times “church” appears is in our passage today.
I’m calling this message “God’s Beautiful Symphony,” because the Greek word “sum-phoneo” is used in our text today. It’s the word from which we get our English word symphony. The analogy of a symphony is a beautiful picture of the church. In an orchestra, there are many different kinds of instruments playing the same song. In the church of the Lord Jesus there are many different kinds of people, but we should all be playing the same music.
Matthew 18:15-20. “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he still refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
Next Sunday morning, this stage will be filled with an orchestra and the choir loft will be full of singers as our Celebration Choir and Orchestra present “Hope of the World.” Before the orchestra comes on stage, they gather in the orchestra room and Tim will play an F. Each orchestra member tunes his instrument to match that note. Few things are more beautiful than the sounds of a symphony orchestra playing in tune. In contrast, if you hear instruments that aren’t in tune, it sounds like two cats fighting!