Friday, August 10, 2012

Moving from You and Me to Us

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

John 17:22-23 (NIV1984)
22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

This video is of a song that I feel is a powerful example of lone voices becoming one people and one voice. I believe it is what God would do with as his people if we could lay aside the drive to stand out and choose to stand together.

Tonight I experienced something wonderful and profound. I was invited to be part of a musical team that gathered to work on music for and up coming service. In the past 30 years I have worked with some excellent worship leaders and I mean none of them any disrespect. The model I have seen most often is there is a leader and the leader pretty much makes all the decisions and everyone else supports the leader. Tonight was special because we were not held captive to that model. We moved from you, and you and me and profoundly became an us. We each brought our strengths and our weakness to the table. Together we brought out the best in each other. There was an atmosphere of I believe in you, and wow that was wonderful.

It is much easier to do things on your own. There are not scheduling hastles. No one to have a different idea about what should be done. It is much harder to work as a collective whole, as and us. In and "us" I am not the in the spot light, and neither are you. What is in the spot light is the glorious whole, the sum of the parts joining together in unity. Unity is a powerful thing. 

Psalm 133 says "
How good and pleasant it is
    when brothers live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down upon the collar of his robes.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore.

Did you see these words "For there the Lord bestows his blessing," They leap off the page at me. Where does the Lord bestow his blessing? When we live and work together in unity.

We need to move from trying to create celebraties to creating communities. When we can lay aside our own agenda and allow the Lord to lead and direct us together - something powerful happens. 
You and I were once just living stones but the Lord builds us together into a spiritual house. 

I have a friend and we have agreed to encourage one another. We are both far from perfect but we have decide to see the good in each other. To point out the positive. It is easy to pick and criticize. It is easy to tear down what is different and what you don't understand. It takes the eyes of the Spirit to see beyond the flaws and scars into the heart of who God destined and created another to be. They may not have fully arrived at there final destination but we can celebrate and fan into flame the glowing embers of the gifts that God has placed in another. We can breathe life on those flames and they will burn brighter. We can move together and the collective coals and embers become a fire. To be unified we don't have to be exactly alike. It is in bringing out the best in each other that we become a unified collective  - we become something that we could not have been before. That harmony may only be created in that moment but I believe that God is where God bestows his blessing.

So tonight we worked on creating something beautiful and uniquely wonderful together. We were not trying to do things the way others were successfully doing things. We were discovering together what God could do with us if we could lay down our pride and our agenda and work as one. 
I saw love and unity in action - it is a beautiful thing.  I hope and pray that what I experienced is a releasing of a new wave of Gods Spirit in worship through unity. Where what defines this type of worship is not a leader or a celebrity but the power of a collective group listening and following the Holy Spirit together to create something that could not be created except that the individual parts became united and become something new, unique, wonderful and profound. 

I think this applies to far more than music. It is easy to divide and tear down, to run away, to build wall that keep us separated. It is when we get tired of doing things alone that we begin to venture out from our fortress walls and you venture out from behind yours that we realize we could try to walk together in love. We could look for what ever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Lord help us to see places where we could begin to move beyond you, you, you and me and become a collective us. I pray that as we begin to develop little united circles that you would not let us become closed but to welcome in another and another in to the great dance of of your awesomeness. 

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