I just watched a fascinating little documentary called American Grand. If you’ve ever been curious about the inner workings of a grand piano, it’s not to be missed. Thousands of parts all work together in a feat of engineering that is mind blowing in its intricacies and complexity. While watching, I had such a vivid picture of the Body of Christ and the transcendent church that I cried.
Grand Piano, Grand Design
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous ones; praise from the upright is beautiful.
Praise the Lord with the lyre; make music to Him with a ten-stringed harp.
Sing a new song to Him; play skillfully on the strings, with a joyful shout.
Psalm 33:1-3 HCSB
American Grand documents a small group of piano technicians who are refurbishing a Steinway grand piano. One of the technicians said that in order to be a piano technician, you had to be both musical and mechanical. It couldn’t be one or the other; you had to be gifted with both. By the end of the film, that truth was born out unmistakably. It wasn’t enough to have technical proficiency and understanding of how a piano works, because every one of the thousands of parts contributes to the actual sound produced. And if the technician lacks an ear to distinguish tonality – thin or rich, tinny or full-bodied, resonating chords or quickly diminishing – he cannot tune the piano to produce the richness of music it should.
The transcendent church is an infinitely greater marvel than a grand piano, but through this little film I glimpsed the beauty that could only properly be seen by God Himself. All over the world, Jesus has formed His Body. A ministry here, a home church there, two people in a town of hundreds—only He knows where His Body is and who comprises it. Yet under His Headship, every one of these unique gatherings functions in union of purpose. We’re not just individuals becoming church; we are individual groups functioning as His transcendent church, orchestrated by our Head, each serving His need under His direction. How beautiful that is!
Christ’s Own Grand Piano
We cannot see how a single prayer here joins up with another somewhere else. We can’t know the full impact of a single loosed soul on God’s eternal purpose. I have both witnessed and experienced the great surrender and trust and FAITH that must take place to accept where God has placed us and the fruit our lives can be SEEN to bear.
The Bible has many stories of obscure people who were used to do great things (Gideon, David, Peter, Mary of Bethany), but it also tells the stories of people whose great faith was rewarded with a single great moment in time, like Simeon and Anna. Neither won a war or toppled an enemy or evangelized a thousand people. They bore witness to the Messiah when He was still a baby, and were privileged to see Him, bless Him, and rejoice over His coming. We never hear any more about them after that, but we know their lives served God’s purpose.
We are each little parts that join with others to become something much greater: the Body of Christ. And these fellowships are part of the transcendent church. We might not know the full scope or see the whole picture, but we absolutely matter. Like the incredible, intricate workings of a grand piano, we are designed to make beautiful music together.