As a student pastor I know that there is great value in attending various student events. One of the events that I love attending is the band concert. Here in town our middle school and high school students put on a few concerts during the spring. It is great to attend these concerts and support our students who are participating.
Things get interesting right off the bat with the 6th grade band kicking things off. These kids are just learning how to use the instruments, and they are still getting the hang of it. Playing an instrument is a difficult thing to do, and these kids don’t have much practice. These kids tend to stick to the easy, short songs.
The second group is the 7th and 8th grade band. The upgrade in terms of musical proficiency is noticeable immediately. These kids are also still learning, but they have the ability to play more complex songs that really sound like songs (no offense 6th grade). They still have a way to go to become something you would regularly listen to, but the sounds are coming together.
The next group is the high school concert band. These kids are playing some stuff that you have heard before. You are amazed that 9th graders are managing to play songs that you have heard in Broadway musicals. Every now and then the students miss a note or something is not quite at the right tempo, but overall it is amazing to think that these students just a few years ago were trying to make a sound in the instrument that they are now playing fluently.
As I sat there in the concert, I could not help but see how our lives as followers of Christ is so similar to kids learning music. We start off just trying to figure everything out. As baby Christians we struggle to apply our new faith to the world that we have been living in. Just like the 6th graders, we stick to the simple things. We try to learn the basics because we are just starting out in our journey with Christ.
While we start out small, we are not called to remain there. As followers of Christ, we grow in our faith and in our understanding of what it means to be a Christ follower. Just as the kids grow as musicians, we grow as disciples. We don’t stay stuck in our spiritual beginnings. We feed on God’s word. Just like the students learning music, we practice so that we might grow in our proficiency. We grow in our relationship with God by spending more time with him. We grow through serving others and putting God’s word into practice. Sure, we will make mistakes from time to time. Our song may not be perfect, but we are learning and growing.
When we are truly living as Christ’s disciples, we are becoming more and more like Jesus every single day. We press on towards a goal. While we rest in the righteousness imparted to us through Christ, we never become satisfied with where we are in our relationship with God. Each day we strive to know him more and to glorify him more through our obedience.