A city ministry leader, Mitch Machir with Water for Ishmael, sent me the following quote:“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one much individually bow. So one hundred worshippers meet together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possible be were they to become “unity” conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. AW Tozer (Pursuit of God)
I love the imagery Tozer shares as he points to a tuning fork bringing all the pianos into a perfect tuning. Oft times, in the Church, as we begin to talk about unity, we speak in ways where each leader or church is expected to lose their individual calling and throw in with the rest of the group. Each piano here was its own instrument, some may have been uprights, others grand or baby grands, some may have been spinets or even player pianos, but tuned to one common tuning fork…flawless in sound. If someone decided to tune one piano to the tuning fork but the next one to the already tuned piano there would be subtle changes…until we got down the line further then they are no longer in tune with one another.
So I am not going to insult anyone’s intelligence here and ask “Who or what is our tuning fork?” So one hundred worshippers meet together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possible be were they to become “unity” We could all sit in a room and pick apart our theological differences, focus on what we might not agree on rather than focus on the One who called us together to begin with. Many times the fight for unity is really a struggle to convince someone else they are wrong…and I am right. Barb and I have been married for 46 plus years and I can say with confidence WE do not agree on everything theologically or otherwise. But…we are tuned with the same tuning fork…singing the same song…in harmony.
As we think about Merge we have to remind ourselves we are not an ecumenical group or an inter-faith group. Merge is about men and women that are looking directly at Jesus, not even at one another but at the One leading the orchestra and following His lead. And we find ourselves more unified than if we ever decided “unity” was the goal. Jesus is the goal…the Kingdom of God moving forward…God being glorified in our city is our tuning fork. Anything else is just a good idea…and many of us are tired of good ideas.
The Psalmist writes, :How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting. Psalm 133 NLT My friend Mitch is one of many that long to see believers tuned, not to one another but to another standard…so that we are in tune with one another.
- Bill Herzog
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