The Pieces We Bring
Believe it or not, this question is a stumbling block for many people, and it is easy to see why. Church buildings, the sanctuaries, the fellowship halls by different names, every element of the property and grounds are full of memories, lived-in spaces that are like the old family house, where all the important family gatherings happen. But the church is not the building, the grounds, the property. The church is the people who use the space, the talents we each bring, gifts including, as the graphic above implies, math.
I always liked math growing up. It made sense to me: addition, multiplication, I even liked long division. I always thought there was a beauty in the long chain of remainders as I tried to divide one number into another when they did not go together cleanly. In second grade we would have time trials to see who was fastest with spitting back a memorized answer to a multiplication problem. I was always slow: I would solve the problem every time. This frustrated my teacher because she could not understand why her student who always finished new homework the fastest had a comparatively slow time-trial. The time trials did not bring me joy! Solving the problems did. I was not motivated to memorize the times-tables, because I liked figuring the problem out each time. Another gal in my class loved the time trials, she excelled at competition, especially against me. She was slower on the homework, but fast at the flashcards. At that age, there was nothing she liked more than a head-to-head race to see who was fastest at answering more flashcards: her or me. It took me a very long time to view those exchanges not as a condemning spotlight on my lack, but rather as two people with different talents that balanced each other out in weirdly complementary ways. These were the pieces of ourselves we brought to our class throughout our primary and secondary school education.
When was the last time you remember using your best talent in your church? What was it, what were you doing? Who else was part of that experience? Can you remember the feelings you felt at the time, was it joy, peace, love, or something else entirely? Do you want to feel the same thing again? This piece of you, or pieces as the case may be, are what God would have you bring to the church, the life of the family of Christ.
~Rev. Andrea Joy Holroyd