There are these moments that occur in our lives when we see the church at work…the church as we think God intends it to be. I believe we catch these glimpses of the Kingdom of God at work all of the time, but we don’t always recognize them for what they are. So when we do spot one…when it is apparent, it is important to point that out, and to name it.
Saturday night I had one of these experiences.
Saturday night was Trinity’s “Variety Show Remix,” a new spin on a long-held event. The Variety Show has always been a great event; a celebration of the gifts and talents (and general goofiness) of our young people. There have been talent acts, skits and other gifts shared. It is also, unashamedly, a fundraising event to support ministry with our young people, especially those who are participating in one of our summer events.
We try to change things up from time to time, to keep events fresh and new. Last night was the “Variety Show Remix,” a new version of the Variety Show. Many of our young people shared their talents. And we also invited Rachel Kurtz, who is a singer and songwriter, to be with us to lend her talent to our event. The first half of the show was our young people…the second was to be Rachel.
Rachel was blown away by the level of musical talent in our community. And so when she got up on stage, rather than just sing her set, she started inviting some of the kids who had already played, and then some who hadn’t, on stage to help her.
This happened with no warning, with no prep, and with lots of joy.
So imagine this:
- Rachel singing and playing guitar
- 1 piano
- 1 Conga
- 3 or 4 back up singers
- 1 bassoon
- 1 alto sax
- 1 cello
- 7 trombones
All gathered on stage making music. Rachel would cue them, and they would play.
Here is a short video of what they did:
It. Was. Awesome. They played two songs: Rachel’s “Make a Difference” and “Amazing Grace,” straight out of the hymnal. Sure, it was a little rough…there was no arrangement…they were playing by ear…
But it was beautiful. It literally brought a bit of a tear to my eye.
And not just because of the music.
This is a metaphor for the church. We are all in this together, and the music…our ministry…it is so much more beautiful when all of the gifts are brought to the table. It can feel random. It can feel unstructured. It can even feel chaotic. But guided by the Holy Spirit, amazing and wonderful things can happen.
Too often I believe we hold ourselves back, because we aren’t confident in our gifts, or we don’t think they will fit, or they aren’t “traditional.” Last night, there was no structure. Rachel didn’t say, “We need 1 drum set, 1 keyboard, a bass, a guitar, 1 trombone and a sax…that’s it.” Rachel simply said, “Come and share your gifts!” (and after it was over, she said “This was the best band EVER.”)
And she was right.
It reminds me to ask myself the question, “What are the gifts I’m holding back?” Where can I contribute, even if at first glance it doesn’t look like it might fit? We all have a place in Christ’s Church. We all have a role. And you are invited to bring forward your gifts, trusting that God can do something with them.
So come. Join in. There is a place for you.
And together, we will catch a glimpse of the church of Christ at work.