So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all and especially for those of the family of faith.” (Galatians 6:10, NRSVue)
I like to think I’m pretty resourceful. After all, I hunted down some truly excellent service music available free of charge that we used last. Several people told me the music for our first Sunday without a live pianist sounded very good. I was quite pleased. It reminded me of the most famous verse that isn’t in the Bible, “God helps those who help themselves.”
But when I stopped to think about it, I had a lot of help. In the grand scheme of all the things it took for us to hear Clyde McLennan play Handel’s “Hornpipe from ‘Water Music’” on the organ at the end of our service last Sunday… I didn’t do very much of that at all.
Sarah Bereza, Clyde McLennan, and Richard Irwin recorded the songs and put them on the internet for use by the Church at no cost. People in the building sang to them. Michael ran the sound booth. Bill streamed the service to half those in worship Sunday. Other folks paid for the speakers the songs played on, and to have our building built and maintained. Still others bought the laptop I did the work on, and none of this would have been possible without generous, faithful people giving to the church so I can be paid a salary and do this to begin with.
Someone had to make the hardware and software the music was recorded on. A team of volunteers made the software I used to add an intro to the Gloria and Doxology. People laid cables in the ocean so Clyde’s music could get here from Australia. People I never met, and a few I did, taught me how to use a computer. Not to mention the people who wrote the songs and those who faithfully passed along gospel to them over millennia!
I’m not demeaning the hard work I put in to make Sunday morning at Fairplain what it is; I want to draw to your attention the great cloud of witnesses, including some from the other side of the world and many who are now in the presence of God, who make it possible for us to worship as we do.
Ben Franklin said, “God helps those who help themselves,” but in my experience, God most often helps us through others, and others through us. We have all been helped along by people we have never met, and most of us have helped people we’ve never met. What a gift God has given us in each other!
Rev. David Schell
P.S. As I write this, my children’s daycare is closed, and I was only able to be in the office today to write this letter at all because Kristen volunteered to watch them.