I confess without apology; in high school I was a band geek.
Some of my favorite memories come from those days. Pool parties and football halftime shows and marching in parades, the band took up most of my free time and provided a readymade social circle.
Did people ever make fun of us? Duh. We were pretty easy targets. We marched before school. We marched after school. We spent our weekends traveling to various competition parades. We were an interesting bunch and no one really understood us. We were definitely not the popular crowd, but between us there was always this sense of belonging. We were completely unified by the goal of winning the sweepstakes at the parades we participated in. That was the highest honor; it meant we were, on that day, the best.
So we marched together. We worked hard together. We played hard together. Underlying it all was the exhilarating, high-energy music of the marches, driven by the pounding cadence of the drums. It represented the driving intensity of purpose, and the beat of unified steps.
Some of us easily found the natural rhythm the cadence dictated. Others struggled a bit to find that stride. In spite of that we were a team, always a team, unified against outside criticism and encouraged by each other.
The payoff to all the hard work? At the first parade of the year, hearing “and the sweepstakes award goes to Orange Glen!”
The big trophy we received was nice, but what the words represented—a validation of all our hard work—mattered more. We had won!
Christians need to be band geeks.
Well, not exactly, but here’s what I mean.
It is becoming increasingly unpopular in society to be identified as a Christian. So be it. We are meant to be a team, all working together so that others come to know and love Jesus. That’s our goal, and it’s the most noble and highest goal possible.
Is it hard? Sometimes. We don’t always hear the same beat, and sometimes we march out of step with each other. But that unity was so precious to Jesus that it is what He earnestly prayed for at the end of His life, saying:
I pray… that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you…so that they may be brought to complete unity. John 17:21, 23
Jesus prayed for our unity! We need to encourage each other to…
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 2:2-3
What’s more, we are promised that the hard work of extending grace, working together, and loving each other will pay off.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9-10
At the end of it all, the crowns we may receive are nice (2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:2; 1 Peter 5:4), but it is these words from our Savior that we long to hear:
Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness! Matthew 25:21
That will be the very best trophy of all.
- What would you say you work the hardest at accomplishing?
- Does your life reflect what you say are your highest priorities?
- Does your life reflect the unity of believers that Jesus desires?
- When you come face-to-face with Jesus, what do you think He will have to say to you?
Father, You meant for me to live in unity with other believers. Help me to love them, to live in unity with them, and to seek to do good to them, for they are the ones that I will live with for eternity. May we work together for Your glory, so that Your words to us may be the ones we long to hear.