Yesterday was Good Friday. I heard an outstanding presentation of the Roger Jones’ musical, ‘Jerusalem Joy’, given by the FSMC Gospel Choir. I have heard the choir a number of times. They make a great sound and produce effective gospel presentations that challenge, encourage and uplift one’s spirit. Together, they make a very harmonious sound.
Jerusalem Joy was different. Many of the choir had to come out from behind the comfort of the crowd and sing solo. For most it was probably the first time they had ever done so. Some, only a line, others had considerably more. Rather than just singing, the piece required a degree of movement and acting. This is not a skill set that one can simply fall into. It would not be untruthful to say that a number of individuals were very nervous and certainly not note (or movement) perfect. Far from being critical, it deeply moved me to see folks stepping out and taking responsibility. How much more incredible that a group of ordinary people, many of whom struggle with singing on their own, can produce such an amazing sound when performing as a choir?
The presentation made me think that it was like the church. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” [2Cor 4:7]. God can take us, mould us and use us for His glory. When we all move with the same vision and goal, the result can be very powerful. In the musical each individual added a beautiful, raw element to their role. Each did their best and God used it. In the church we must each use our talents and gifts and let God be the judge of the impact of their use. We should not rely on the few. All of us be confident that God will draw out the gifts that He has placed within us. It’s His call, not ours. God never promised or desired that we remain in our comfort zone.
Jesus, My Brother
One outstanding and moving performance came from my brother, Jesus. This was certainly a step beyond any normal horizon for the performer. Yet, with a combination of spoken voice, gestures and musicality, the part of Jesus was played with great impact. Viv, who played the role of Jesus, is my physical brother. It got me thinking. Is it really OK to call Jesus, ‘My brother’?
Many Christians go through life never knowing or benefiting from the fact that Jesus is our brother. He became flesh, fully human. “…He would be the firstborn among many brethren.” [Rom. 8:29]. After His resurrection and prior to His ascension Jesus called us His brothers; “Go to my brothers…” [John 20:17]. The writer of Hebrews tells us that “He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” [Heb. 2:11]. However, there is a condition; that we accept Him as Saviour, follow Him and become part of His family. He is not the brother of all mankind. He is a brother to all who also call Him Lord and Master of their lives. We willingly and confidently hand over our lives to Jesus. We are adopted by The Father into His family. This is a spiritual relationship which should add joy and completeness to our Christian life.