25 The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don't, the parts we see and the parts we don't. 26 If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.
27 You are Christ's body— that's who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your "part" mean anything.
1 Cor 12:25-27 (MSG)
In a lot of ways, yesterday was a great time of worship at New Hope. We focused on Jesus, and His love for us, and tried to give Him back our praise. We had a great group in the praise team, including two "big people" - Craig and Joe, who added some male voices among the girls' higher tones.
I had an offer from Ian Anderson, after his awesome presentation speech complete with bouquets of flowers to Ellen Fannon and Jewel Hughes, to step in and preach. If it had been last week's message on Hell, I might have taken him up on it.
We have such a great Savior, praised by a great group of people when we gather.
But when we got to the end of "Call Upon His Name", there was something just not right. For two years or more now, when we have arrived at the end of that great hymn of praise, after the booming verses ebb and the praise team and congregation have gone silent, we've heard the small but beautiful voice of Kira Stoy singing...
"Come and drink again
Be filled with living water
Call upon His name
He is the King of Glory"
Kira has come from a shy little girl who would barely speak to anyone, to someone you make an effort to seek out, just to see her smile. Of course you have to make sure she's not pulling a prank on you. She's especially fond of rubber snakes.
And she's come from not wanting to sing in front of anyone, to singing alone and as a part of the praise team. I don't know why Bunny decided that Kira should sing the end of "Call Upon His Name", but she always has. And every time she sings it, I think "and a little child will lead them." Yes, straight to the throne of Grace.Her child's voice is perfect for it.
But Kira was out of town on vacation Sunday, and we sort of hesitantly finished the song.
The one thing I know for certain about life in the smaller church was proven once again Sunday. Every single voice matters. No matter what age, no matter what gender. When we're not together, the Body of Christ is less than it could be.
Whether you sing, pray, preach, usher, serve in the nursery, do children's church, make coffee, buy donuts, change paper towels, unlock, lock up, fold bulletins, or teach - you have a place in God's work and worship.
With one voice missing, you can hear the difference.