Practicing Faith: Let the music of grace flow from your heart | Guest Columns

It’s funny how you can miss something if you aren’t looking for it. Everyone was watching the violinist play. She was fabulous. The cameraman zoomed in on her as she launched into an incredible solo. Her smile and energetic posture was captivating. The camera then began a slow pan of all the musicians on stage as she finished up and the music continued.

It reminded me that there are moments in life when one thing can dominate our thinking and command our focus. We can become so fixated on it that we lose sight of the big picture. To that point there were several talented musicians on stage that night. Each took a turn in the spotlight. Each added to the overall splendor of that magical evening at the music conference I attended.

One night later my attention was drawn to another violinist. She was given her chance to shine and was wonderful. It made me think about how much talent you had to have just to play the second violin in this praise band. I began to notice her almost every other time the band was on stage. She was always there and playing her part.

It made me think of some of the things the apostle Paul wrote in his letters to the Corinthians and Ephesians. He pointed out that God has given each of us gifts to use to build up the body. Some were called to be apostles, teachers, prophets or evangelists. The gifts included knowledge, wisdom, faith, healing and more. Together, he suggests, we are equipped to answer God’s call.

Getting back to my original observation, that violinist who played second fiddle to the star was just as important to the praise team as any other member of the band. It is true in the church as well. We all have a role to play. It may not be to become the face of the church or the mission but it could be to stand tall in a supporting role. Every leader needs a supporting cast to do the job.

Michael Jordan was great but he was a champion when he had Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman on the court with him. Tom Brady may be recognized as the greatest of all time but without Gronk, Edelman and Welker, he was just a great player. God created us to work together to get the best results. Even our Biblical heroes had support. Moses had Aaron. David had Jonathan.

Every one of us is just as important to God’s plan as the one standing out front. The Apostle says in 1 Corinthians 12, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.”

The truth is that every instrument in the orchestra is essential to bring out the beauty of the musical offering. The same is true for all of us. Everyone has a part to play. It isn’t just the job of the Pastor or Priest. All of us have been called to share the good news of the Gospel with friends and neighbors. We’ve been selected to tell our stories and share the grace we’ve found in Christ.

God delights in using the second fiddle. No matter who is singing it, it will be music to the ears of those who hear. As the old hymn goes, “Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now, am found, was blind but now I see.” Like the woman who played second violin, don’t hesitate to step up and let the music flow through you when the call comes.

The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Westerly.

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