Friday, November 18, 2016

A part of the whole

Kinetic sculpture from Carl Zachmann
Last weekend was spent running around and sitting. The Copa Benelux, an indoor soccer tournament organized by the church in Ghent, brings members of the church and friends together to enjoy a day of sport in a christian atmosphere. It is a time to reconnect with members from congregations across Belgium and the Netherlands; there were players from Haarlem, The Hague, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels, Rotselaar and more.
This past week we visited Eindhoven for their monthly singing evening. This was a time to encourage one another, but also to talk about how best to use our time singing together. How do we help one another? How can we be better song leaders and singers? It was a challenging evening. We hope to share some more of these in the coming months. 
Both of these activities reminded me of how important the individual and the whole is. A soccer team doesn’t work when there is only one person playing. It has to be a team effort – each member of the team doing his or her part. Some are better at shooting a goal, but sometimes the defender pushes through to make or receive a pass and score. And sometimes the striker has to return to defend against an attack. It is a team effort. Those who do not play as a team, do not make it further.
Singing, as God has designed it for us in the church, is also a group effort. The whole point of our singing is only accomplished as a group. We are speaking to one another of the glory of God, encouraging one another to remain true and strong in the faith, sharing our feelings of struggle or joy or comfort. If we do not sing together, we do not accomplish what is possible through the Holy Spirit. And yet we each take part, individually, in this communal song.
We are individuals, created as unique beings, meant to be only part of a whole. We are indeed simply cogs in a machine – or better, as Paul states it in 1 Corinthians – body parts. We must be active as individuals, but we must not forget that our purpose is in the whole. That is when we truly work as a team. That is when we truly make harmony. 

We are so thankful for the opportunities God gives us not only to take part in these activities, but to be reminded of this wonderful truth of His working through us for His purpose. 

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ephesians 3:10-11

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