I love a good marching band, probably because I grew up marching for the Great Bend High School Black Panther Marching Band.
Some great memories.
It’s probably why I still love camping out on Hutchinson’s Main Street during the State Fair to watch all the bands march down our fare street earning a ticket for a day of fun.
But this past fall, I was taken aback by what I saw. There was a small band from western Kansas (intentionally to be unnamed) that was doing just fine in the uniform of blue jeans and school T-shirts.
On the side closest to me, as I sat on the tailgate of my truck, about two-thirds of the way back in their marching band was a young saxophonist. I took a moment to look in her direction because that’s the horn I played.
Upon closer scrutiny, I could see what maybe others could not. She was marching in time, keeping in step, posture looked good, but there was a problem… she wasn’t playing anything.
Oh, the horn was in her mouth, and from a distance, you couldn’t tell, but I was up close, and there was no doubt. She was in the band, but she wasn’t playing the song.
I was amazed she was staying in line as she had perfected the art of the teenage eye roll, which she produced artfully, continually, fantastically even as she fake marched.
I chuckled to myself finding humor in her rebellion until I felt another question spring up inside this pastor of 28 years: “I wonder how many people in the church today are just like that?”
I believe it is possible to stay in line, tap your feet and even look like you’re in the band, but actually, be contributing nothing to the performance. To show up and fake it in hopes that you get your “admission ticket” at the end of the show.
All too often, this is the case in the church today. We fill a seat, but we don’t contribute. We praise His name, but only inside these walls. We believe in the mission, but leave the work up to the pastor.
The truth is that everyone needs to play their part, or the song doesn’t sound like it should.
God chose to make the church his hands and feet in this world, and we have an opportunity, even a responsibility, to play our role so long as we have the breath to do it.
When we don’t, we are disobedient to him, a hindrance to others, and most importantly, we do damage to our self.
Let me refer you to the writing of the Apostle Paul:
1 Corinthians 12:12 “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ…
Vs. 14 “For the body does not consist of one member but of many…
Vs. 17-18 “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose…
Vs 27 “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”
Each one of you has been given a special place, role and privilege to serve in the body of Christ.
When you’re not in the mix doing your part, we are incomplete. So let me encourage you to make sure that you’re not just filling a pew, singing a song, or “paying your dues.”
The Christian life is an invitation to living life to the full! It’s your opportunity to make a difference in this world, but only you have the chance to step up and make it happen.
So, make a decision today that tomorrow will be different. Make the determination right now to make a difference. Enjoy your responsibility and your privilege.
I mean, come on, you’re with the band.