When I was a teenager in high school, I remember wanting desperately to be a part of the school choir. I knew I could try out if I wanted to, but because I was still learning to speak English, I felt I didn’t stand a chance. It was during my senior year that something amazing happened to me. I went to the choir room one day with a friend of mine to rehearse for a song I was doing for an oral presentation in one of my classes. She agreed and we started practicing.
Unbeknown to me, the director of the choir and of the school’s small ensemble was in her office nearby listening to us. Well let me just say that just like it would have happened in a movie, at the end of the rehearsal, she came out and praised our sound and before I knew it I had joined not only the school choir but now I was a member of the elite “Madrigals” ensemble. Wohoo! I cannot begin to tell you what it felt like. I had allowed my own fears and self imposed limitations to keep me from being a part of something I truly loved that was not unreachable at all.
My experience with the Madrigals was amazing and sadly short-lived as it was my senior year, but I truly believed being able to participate in that group encouraged me to pursue a degree in music and become involved in other singing groups, and in leading worship for some great churches and events. In reality, because I was able to be a part of something good, I ended up being a part of something great!
I believe there are people all over the world crying out to belong. They desperately want to be a part of something meaningful and something tangible. Everyone wants to be a part of something great whether directly or indirectly. Case in point, There is an interesting article on MSN Entertainment about Michael Jackson’s memorial service, (Click this link:http://music.msn.com/music/article.aspx?news=419844). As I read it I had images floating on my mind of the events that led to the memorial service I had watched the day before. Here is an excerpt from that article:
The emerging mythology — that the communications explosion that followed Jackson’s death almost “broke the Internet” — suggests both the emergence of new communities and the hunger for some kind of mass public square of sentiment. “People want to be a part of something. And this is something really memorable.”
I remember that while I watched the beautiful program something interesting struck a chord with me; the images of sobbing kids and moms holding to their programs for dear life kept popping on the screen, fading into images of grown men wearing T-shirts with MJ’s pictures and crying like little boys. There were life size dolls of MJ, a mural for people to leave their sentiments and signatures, an elephant entourage, celebrities, music, tears and smiles. Wow! What an amazing display of love, admiration and unity…
Even in the midst of sadness and inspiration, I couldn’t help but to think of all those people who seemed lost and hungry for something to replace what they’d lost, perhaps hungry for hope…They are looking for a new role model; already going through a list of prospects in their minds. I don’t know exactly what people want to see happen next, but it is obvious community is a big part of it. I also know without a doubt, we all need to believe in something greater than all of us. In my heart of hearts, I’ve chosen to put my trust in the God I serve.
Say what you may, but you cannot deny the powerful message of seeing the black man and the white woman sharing a tearful embrace, or the politician and the minister shaking hands while sharing a program, or the celebrity and the child holding hands while singing a song of unity. People are hungry for community, and they are desperate to belong; to be a part of something unique.
That is where the church needs to be like a city on a hill, shinning its light brightly so that all the desperate souls bellow can find their way home to the arms of a loving God. We spend so much time thrashing one another and complaining about the things we don’t like about the world we live in, that we obscure the message of salvation. Listen to the words of Jesus in John 3:17 (New International Version – UK)
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world but so that the world through him might be saved!”
So what are we doing? How are we keeping His (Jesus) message alive? The world needs purpose; Jesus said he is the way, the truth and the life! (John 14:6). The world needs joy; In the bible we read that he gives joy unspeakable! The world says they need love and we the church must remind them; For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life! (John 3:16)
I want to be a part of something great! I want to be involved in a movement that stirs the hearts of everyman, women and child to a knowledge of God’s amazing grace. I want to encourage people of any age group to live a life that is honorable and decent. I want to be a part of a movement that teaches our young ones to respect themselves and others, and a movement to believe all things are possible to those who believe.