Jesus the choirmaster

An intriguing TV series traced the almost insurmountable difficulties of a choirmaster putting a choir together out of school boys who think singing is for girls. Their school hasn’t had any singing for thirty years, and only two boys out of 1200 are in choirs already. The choirmaster is starting from scratch.

It made me think of what God is doing with his church. He takes the “weak things of the world,” 1 Corinthians 1:26, to one day reveal them in glory, Colossians 3:4. What a challenge. It’s like taking a bunch of kids in a school who can’t sing, have never experienced singing and wouldn’t be caught dead singing, and turning them into a choir that will one day sing in the Royal Albert Hall in London.

But that’s exactly what the choirmaster does. He takes kids without any training whatsoever, who feel totally embarrassed singing in public, and turns them into a performing choir that blows people away.

It’s HOW he did it that caught my attention. First of all, he sang to the entire school himself. He did, by himself, what he would be asking the kids to do. So did Jesus. He came here as a human and lived the life he’d be asking us to live, first. The choirmaster then put together a motley crew of the school’s teachers into a choir and made them sing to the school to show the kids it was possible. So did Jesus. He gathered a motley crew of disciples and put them through the life he would be asking his church to live. And when it’s the boys’ turn to have a go at singing, the choirmaster is constantly and relentlessly encouraging them. So is Jesus with us. He sends us a Comforter and Encourager who “will be with you forever,” John 14:16.

And from that point on, success for the kids depended on just one thing: Trusting the choirmaster – trusting that he knew what he was doing, and trusting that where he was leading them was worth it. When they trusted him, that’s when they came together as a choir.

It’s exactly the same for the church: Jesus, the church’s choirmaster, “from whom the whole body supported and held together by the ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow,” Colossians 2:19, knows exactly what he’s doing. He did it himself, paved the way himself, showed through his disciples it was possible, and encourages us through his Spirit along the way when it’s our turn.

And all he asks in return is that we trust him, because if we trust him, we too, one day, will blow people away, Colossians 3:4.

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