Jump Start # 3313
Romans 12:5 “So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
I have an “R” problem. It’s annoying. It’s causing me to redo things that I have already done. The “R” problem? Most of my work is done at the church house where I have an old laptop but it’s very comfortable to me. At home, I have a newer laptop. Touch screen. Lots of amazing features, such as the screen turns. But it’s on this newer computer that the letter “R” sometimes doesn’t respond. Then there are times when I push the letter “R” harder and suddenly about five “Rs” appear. The program I use to do most of my work will immediately underline in red a misspelled word. I will look at the screen and see many words underlined. There is a common problem. It’s the letter “R.” Either the “R” was left out, or there were too many “Rs”. And, all of this makes me have to go back and fix the problems created by the letter “R.”
And all of that led me to thinking about us:
First, just one of us out of place and that can create all kinds of commotion, friction and trouble in the church. Where we belong, we are not often there. We are missing. And, the reason we are often missing is because the way someone has “pushed” us, just like a letter on the keyboard.
Someone didn’t talk to me after services, so I’m upset and may not return. Someone didn’t invite me to a get together. Now my feelings are hurt and I may not talk to that person ever again. Something the preacher said in the sermon, I know was directed just to me, and now I don’t know if I can hear any more of his sermons.
One letter out of place and a word is misspelled. One member out of place and trouble can begin. People begin talking. Assumptions, without facts are made. Conclusions are drawn. And in no time, a nothing becomes a something.
Second, each of us are needed. One day I had a lot of typing to do. The letter “R” was giving me fits. I thought about getting a screwdriver and just pulling the key off the keyboard and being done with it. But there are too many words, including my first name, that needs the letter “R.” Had this been a “z” or a “q” I might have gotten away with it. But not the “R.” And, so it is with us. Each of us are necessary and each of us fills a valuable role in the kingdom. The young, the aged, the families, the kids, the leaders, the teachers, everyone is significant and everyone is necessary. When someone feels that they could just drop off and no one would miss them points to both a fellowship problem and a participation problem. You don’t have to do anything big or even public to make an impact. Taking food to a family that is hurting is important. Giving someone a ride is important. Posting something from the church on Facebook is valuable. Supporting the work financially is important. No, the letter “R” is needed, just as you are needed in your congregation.
Third, I’m sure there is a way that I could have that key looked at and even fixed, but I’ve learned to look especially at words that use the letter “R.” Most times as I type, I don’t think about the keys. I just type away very fast. But now, on my home computer, the letter “R” grabs my attention. I look for it and I think about it as I type. And, such we are. We often try to turn everyone into the same mold and the same model, but we don’t all fit like that. We are unique in our own way. Where one has strengths, the other may have weakness. Yet, in other areas, it’s just the opposite. When we become mindful of one another and sensitive to each other, then we get along better. Some like the old hymns that have been sung for decades and decades. A song leader will recognize that and once in a while lead hymns that he knows are precious to some in the audience. It’s like me understanding the letter “R” on my keyboard. There are some who like to stand and talk and talk and talk. And, when you ask them how they are doing, you get play by play of the past five doctor visits. All you were hoping for was a nice, “I’m fine.” There is that letter “R”. You understand that that person likes to talk, so you give them a listening ear. For someone else, they need to vent and complain. There’s always something not right in their world. That’s that letter “R,” again. You smile. You try to find something positive. You remind them that it is good to see them.
Working with my letter “R,” is a lesson in patience and understanding. Why can’t the letter “R,” be like the letter “T.” It once was, but now it’s not. And, through time, many of us change. Some for the better and others for the worse. Some get sweeter through the years and some just become old cranks. Now, we can avoid some, but that just doesn’t work well. Or, we can adjust and learn to make the most of it.
Our verse today reminds us that as individual disciples, we are connected. We are connected to the Lord and we are connected to each other. One Christian does not make the church. We are part of the church, but not the whole church. Yet, each individual member, unique and different as we are, are important and valuable to the work in the kingdom.
The letter “R” is important when typing, and you are important, both to the Lord and God’s kingdom.