Sunday, April 27, 2008

The part I play...

I am currently a baseball mom and, truth be told, not a very good one either.

I go to the game for only one reason; to watch my child play, and when they are not playing, I'm usually doing something else, like I am now...

I look around I see other attendees, and each one has a role they play. Here are three moms with their fold up chairs huddled together as they share stories and cheer for their sons that have known each other since kindergarten.
Scattered throughout are grandparents, complete with head scarves and blankets: here the middle age men all wearing the team’s hat; they are the coaches and the guy with the stat book and the man at third base telling the kids to run, steal, or stay.
Within the diamond is the umpire behind the catcher, whose identity is indiscernible as he's wearing so much protective covering.
And now the batter stands tall and proud as he holds out his bat to the boy in the opposite colored shirt who is winding up for the pitch. Sixteen other sets of eyes are watching this bit of drama play out as they punch their fists into their gloves and hope and pray that it either comes to them, or that it doesn’t!

And because all these people have gathered together, each with their own particular passion and interests; there is a baseball season and a community assembled together in the park. Children are learning skills of ball playing and of life and these men, that feel so recently they were boys themselves, have an opportunity to pass along the things they've learned along their way.

A church gathering is so similar with the number of players it takes in a variety of roles in any given week.
For if there were no workers in the nursery, the parents of the infants would not be in the sanctuary, and if someone had not readied the sanctuary or the classrooms, they would not be a fit place to meet.
If the Sunday school teachers did not take their places, not only would many parents of young children be missing but also the environments of the schools, homes, and community would be different.
There are bulletins and registration folders because someone is a place where these things are taken care of.
The sermon is heard because someone has been attentive to the sound system.
There is music because there has been individuals selecting pieces and practicing scales and because each member of the choir has come together so that there could be such a group.

And then... and then there is a visitor who has been invited by someone or one who has come on their own and who will come again because someone, who may fill no other role in that congregation, has simply turned to them and made them feel welcome.

Because we all have a place and fulfill whatever responsibilities it entails, be it apparent and seemingly crucial, or unseen and unknown; God has fitted us all together as living stones (1 Peter 2) to make up His church and together convey to an individual, and then thereby a community, of His love. No part is small, no role insignificant, because it is God who has placed us in this body, at this time, and in this particular place.

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