We looked at Paul’s letter to the Romans again this week, studying the last two gifts in the list laid out to the church in Rome.  This series, which will wrap up this Sunday, is a reminder of a few different things: it is a reminder that the church functions as a body.  We work together, each holding our own role: our own gifts and passions and talents.  It is a reminder that we are strongest and living most fully as individuals when we have the opportunity to use our gifts.  Even more, our community as a whole is strongest when it is made of passionate individuals living out their gifts and passions; we work together passionately to bring God’s kingdom to this community.

We talked, this Sunday, about also thinking of The Gathering as a band: we each have an instrument to play, and we must play it passionately.  Running with this analogy shows us that there is a rhythm to the way God created the world.  There are rhythms of stop and go and we learn to take time to stop.  There are rhythms of giving and receiving, rhythms of loving and being loved, rhythms of fasting or feasting, praying or laughing.  The writer of Ecclesiastes touched on this (Ecc. 3.1-8) and the writer of Psalm 65 that we read last Sunday, and the rhythm to Genesis 1, and the way God’s invisible qualities are evident in creation, and … there are many examples.  

So, the challenge for us is twofold.  First, we must play our instrument passionately.  We must serve, or lead, or exhort, or teach, or do whatever it is that motivates us.  We must search for places to build God’s kingdom with our gifts and we must play them with all that we have.  Second, we must continue to find God’s rhythm.  We find this rhythm in myriad ways.  We read our bibles and ask questions.  We pray and plead and rejoice.  We take long walks and look at the mountains.  We eat good dinners with people we love.  We plant a garden.  We watch a good, good movie.  We listen and look.  We are watching for God and what he is doing.

This week, may we be people who play our instruments passionately, people who are playing to God’s rhythm with all that we have.  And, may we be people who search and listen for his rhythm, taking the time in the early morning with a cup of coffee, or in the evening with a good book, or driving to work without the radio.  May we find God’s rhythm and play along.