“Play” Tuning Pt. 3 (October 22, 2017)

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“Play” Tuning Pt. 3 (October 22, 2017)

We are going through a series on Tuning, the still sacred moment of alignment to the tuning pitch. The first step of tuning is to be still and silent before the tuning pitch, because clarity of the tuning pitch comes in the silence. The second step was to actually tune your instrument, to turn the pegs, to twist your instrument – that blessings can be found in the midst of tension.
And today, we approach the third step, which is to PLAY. Because when you’re playing in an orchestra, whether you are truly in-tune can only be confirmed once the instrument is played alongside other instruments.

We who are many parts of one body experience transcending joy when we play together. The feet will run with greater vigor when the eyes see the goal set before them. The violinist plays her violin with greater passion as she hears how her part adds to the various parts to create a greater sound than anything she could possibly create on her own. The church plays her mission with greater joy as she sees lives being changed in her community.

In play, we find life. In play, we find out who I am.
In play, we find out who we are.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 26
“12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

“Tune: Blessings in the Tension” Tuning Pt. 2 (October 15, 2017)

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“Tune: Blessings in the Tension” Tuning Pt. 2 (October 15, 2017)

Tuning is crucial if a musical performance to sound correct. No matter how fantastic the musician, if their instrument is out-of-tune, the music will sound horrible. This tuning, this perfecting is a foundational necessity for a musical performer. and tuning happens when tension is introduced to the strings.

We often think of tension in our lives as something that happens to us apart from God’s rescue plan. In the secular view, trials and suffering is never seen as a meaningful part of life but only as an interruption. But the Book of James Chapter 1 helps us see that tension is part of God’s redemption. Specifically in today’s reading, we see three things about tension in life:
1. You will experience it
2. You will be perfected through it
3. You will find true joy in the midst of it

James 1:2-4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
2 My brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4 and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

“Listen” Tuning Pt. 1 (October 8, 2017)

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“Listen” Tuning Pt. 1 (October 8, 2017)

When you go to see a symphony orchestra performance, musicians file on stage, take their seats and warm up – and a sort of chaotic noise ensues. Then, the principal violinist comes on stage, and after a moment of silence –she takes a breath, and signals the tuning pitch. In other words, after the noisy chaos and before the music can begin, there is a sacred moment of alignment, also known as tuning.

As we prepare for the music performance that is our daily lives, I like to spend the next four weeks focusing on the sacred and meditative moment of tuning to the pitch of God. And this first week we will talk about the first step in tuning: To be still. To LISTEN.

Any musician here can attest to this – there is nothing more frustrating than when there are too many distracting noises when you’re trying to tune your instrument. Because clarity of the tuning pitch comes in the silence.

1 Kings 19:11-18 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
11 He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16 Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 17 Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”