My oldest son plays the trumpet in his school’s band, and they had the end of the year concert tonight. He played six songs alongside both the 7th grade band and the Jazz Band. I would say they knocked of out of the park. I especially liked “Man in the Mirror” and “Uma Thurman.” They played wonderful music when they played together.

Since the concert was for the entire middle school, there were musicians from 6th, 7th, and 8th grades involved. This inevitably resulted in a crazy scene after the concert was over. When we dismissed, around 150 students were in the hallway with instruments in hand, each playing something random and different than the person next to them. There was no direction, so the result was not at all like the music they were just playing—it was noise—loud noise that hurts your ears and makes you look for a quiet place. I couldn’t wait to get out of that hallway and into our car.

When I recovered from the noise, I started thinking about how often I try to go through life on my own instead of working in harmony with others. As part of the body of Christ, we all have an important part to play in the Kingdom of God. A pastor friend of mine told me one time that the Kingdom is like an orchestra. Each one must play our part. His comment at the time was interesting, but tonight it was illustrated in high definition.

We all need each other. The trumpet is not more important than the flute. When we all play the same song and listen to the director, we can play sweet music. If we try to go off on our own and forget the others, we just make noise.

I know this is not any different than what Paul is teaching in 1 Corinthians 12 using the body as an illustration, but there’s something about tonight that reminded me all of God’s people have been given gifts for the common good. May we each learn to play our part and play it alongside our brothers and sisters who have their own instruments to play.

(Photo by: Jens Thekkeveettil)