The karate place that my boys go to had this fun event yesterday, called “Karate in the Park”. The fun event consisted of karate and a park (as you may have guessed). It was part of their “Karate Olympics” thing that they were doing this week, where all the kids in the whole program (regardless of belt colour) were put into one of four teams, and they would collectively compete in different challenges (which admittedly weren’t too challenging) earning points and hopefully get the grand prize of a trophy that will sit at the dojo.
As I watched my boys do their thing for their team, I admit that one was actually doing pretty good (I’ll let you guess which one that was). His kicks were on point and his sword (foam pool noodle) swings were strong and precise. The other one, however, wasn’t doing so well (and this would be the one that you didn’t guess was the last one). Sloppy movements, distracted by birds and people walking by, and generally not understanding what was going on. Maybe it was a good thing that they were on the same team because basically they just cancelled each other out.
But of course, the one that helped to get a lot of points complained about the one who didn’t pick up too much slack. So I had to remind them that they are a team, and being in a team isn’t about winning or losing, but it is about complimenting each other in their strengths and weaknesses. One is good at his kicks and paying attention, which gains points. The other is extremely good looking and charming, which gains fans. They may not win the trophy, but they learned a valuable life lesson.
Here we are kicking this season after Pentecost right. Perhaps not in the narrative (the bible story), as the lectionary likes to jump back and forth a lot, but in the themes and lessons the church year brings us. We learned about Jesus, we learned about what he did, and we learned about how the Spirit is Jesus among us as individuals and as a community. Today, we talked a bit about how we are the body of Christ working together in serving the neighbour and world.
This week’s readings add to all of that. This week’s readings remind us of our calling from God to be God’s people, God’s ambassadors, God’s hands and feet in the world, and how God blesses us with each other in doing so. This isn’t a lone ranger act (as much as we might think), but this is a collaborative, a communal, a team effort.
It wasn’t a joke when we said that we are part of the body of Christ. Our very beings are interwoven through our faith as we are joined together by bread and wine and the grace that covers us. We are lifted up out of ourselves and brought into fellowship with each other. We are called to be part of this team, where we support each other, complement each other, and rely on each other.
And what blows me away about all this is that we are all welcome in it. All of us. Welcome.
That is some good news, if you asked me (and I’m pretty sure you did ask, in a very silent fashion).
Have a great week everyone!