We all inherit this mission⎯this call⎯by our Baptism and belief. Although in our many differing ministries and walks of life we may eat and sleep where we like, it can be intimidating to confront the ‘demons’ we must face, too. Think about it: demons of fear, demons of insecurity or inadequacy, demons of jealousy and pride. In the face of all kinds of ‘demons’ how difficult it is at times to know what to say to grieving families; or to be patient and compassionate with the ill, the ignorant or the annoying. Every day we face moments as Christian missionaries that challenge us to respond as Christ would respond.
Somewhere through the centuries, people began to think we can be Christians in the same way most people are Democrats and Republicans, Rotarians and Lions Club members. We show up for meetings, pay our dues, and wear the insignia. For the most part, however, it is acceptable to be “just like everybody else.” We're devout Christians on Sunday mornings, but then we are unkind and thoughtless, selfish for our own needs; we curse or flirt or cheat or tell racist or ethnic jokes the other six and a half days of the week. You are not a car because you happen to be standing in a garage…
We have institutionalized our Christian faith to the point that membership has come to count for conversion! It isn't just Vito Corleone of “Godfather” fame who could live as a criminal so long as he attended Mass and gave gifts to his church. If our faith is more than self-delusion, it must inform our lives, transform our lives in all the routine and ordinary events of life, every day.
St. Paul tells us today that we were chosen for this; “we were destined for adoption…(by) Christ; destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things…In accord with the riches of his grace which he has lavished upon us.” We have all been given gifts for the building of the kingdom of God: all of us were chosen for this purpose.
In the Music Ministry (as in many Ministries) we do face our own particular demons in our mission: how intimidating it can be sometimes to lead the psalm from the ambo, or to lead the Assembly in song, or in a reflection of the Word (an anthem) and to realize that what transpires musically may affect the Community’s experience of the Divine this day. We face these ‘demons’ (or challenges, or opportunities) along with those of stubborn assemblies who don’t sing along (not St. Aidan’s), or parishioners who don’t understand the music ministry (or its’ requirements).
I always say if we are not moving forward we aren’t staying still, so which direction are we going? Because nothing stays the same! There is always work to do to better sharpen the gifts given—looking for never ending improvements!—in order to be more effective ministers and musicians: Disciples of Christ sent by Him. Any ministry implies responsibility—and we are all sent for something… So shake the dust off your feet and get going…
Just a Note: A song about our value and how we are called and chosen.