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The Fifth String

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 21-26

As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. 1 Corinthians 12:21-26 (NRSV)

One Sunday, Ric Lillard, from Maryland, gave the children's message during his church's worship service. Since Ric enjoys playing the five-string banjo, he used it as an example of the church, the body of Christ. Ric showed the children that the banjo has five strings, but that the fifth string is much shorter than the others - just as they are shorter than the adults in their church. Also, the fifth string usually is not noted or fretted as often as the others, so it gets a little less attention - just as they, the children, may not get as much attention as the other members of the church.

But this doesn't mean that they are any less important to the life of the church. Ric showed how that shorter, fifth string is tuned to the highest pitch of the five strings, which enables it to sound a bright, cheerful tone - without which any tune played would not be nearly as pleasing. Ric played a short tune without striking the fifth string and then the same tune using the fifth string. What a difference!

All members of the church are important in spreading the gospel message, as well as in the many other functions of being the church. The talents of all members, children included, should meld with others to spread the love and joy that Christ gives to everyone.

Prayer: O God, keep us mindful that we are all vital to you and your work on earth. We pray and serve in the name of Jesus. Amen.


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