“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” —Ecclesiastes 3:11
Anyone familiar with music can attest to the chaos that ensues when there are problems with tempo. This is especially true when singing together, as in Sunday morning worship. When a song is too fast to sing all the words or too slow to capture the intended energy, something feels “off.”
Even worse, when members of the band or orchestra are playing at different tempos, even the most talented musicians can sound like beginners!
Key instruments in the ensemble, whether it is a band or an orchestra, set the tempo for the entire group, and the leader or conductor helps keep the group together by moving the tempo along with measured consistency. This allows all who participate and observe to see and hear harmony and to grasp the essence of the music that is shared.
Scripture reminds us that God has ways of bringing about beauty and grace over time.
The Holy Spirit, who acts as a kind of conductor, seeks to guide us into God’s will for our lives and to bring about peace and grace even in the difficult times.
We, of course, can choose our own tempo if we wish. We can be out of step with God’s ways. But, in His ultimate love, God provides us with key “instruments” to help keep us in step. The worship and sacraments of the Church are some of the instruments God uses to keep us in tempo together. This ensemble is one that is called to harmony; to work together as unique individual instruments all playing in the same “key.”
As we move through the Season of Advent, a season of preparation and expectation, can we allow God’s Spirit to realign the rhythms of our lives? Can we allow God to call us back to a place of consistent and harmonious connection with His Church and toward meaningful encounters with the Messiah He has sent to us?
In doing so, we may rediscover that God’s timing is just right, and that His ways move us into peaceful, beautiful, and joyful harmony.
Prayer for the Week:
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of
darkness and put on the armor of light, now in the time of
this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit
us in great humility; that in the last day, when He shall come
again in His glorious majesty to judge both the living and the
dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through Him who lives
and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
forever. Amen. (From The Book of Common Prayer)
Charles W. Christian is managing editor of Holiness Today.
Written for Coffee Break with Holiness Today.