Teamwork or Star Power?
This week, the spring soccer season starts up, and the team Zach plays for actually starts its practices tonight... oh yeah, the team I'm coaching. I don't even remember how many seasons I've coached now. How a guy like me with minimal soccer skills and no experience playing soccer as a kid wound up as a coach for this long - well, that's a story for another day. Let's just say God has a good sense of humor and a way of humbling us.
I have come to enjoy coaching the kids and encouraging them to have fun, to grow, and to do their best. At the beginning of the season, I sit here and wonder what kind of team we will have this year. Will it be a team with a lot of individual talent and skill that struggles because it is short on unselfish teamwork? Will it be an average team that steadily grows in their ability to work together through anticipating where the others will be and trusting their teammates to do their job? Will they become a team that can take on the undefeated league leaders in the last game of the season and pull off the upset through teamwork rather than star power? Yes, this really did happen one season. The kids knew they were underdogs going into the game, and I could tell they were skeptical about the chances I told them that teamwork had in the face of a more skilled opponent. Despite falling behind early, they did not give up on each other, and they eventually came back. It was amazing to see them as they started to believe in teamwork. Win or lose, they truly could do anything through teamwork.
How do we at Port Church work as a team? Do we rely on a few "stars" with lots of gifts, time, and money to keep everything going? Do we work together to overcome the insurmountable challenges we face and to make God's big dreams for us come to fruition? If we are like most churches, I imagine it is a little bit of both. Some ministries survive because of the individual work of a small group of people, and others thrive beyond our expectations because of the teamwork of the church as a whole. I pray that, as we work together in ministry, we may all have fun, grow, and do our best in the name of Jesus Christ!
Blessings on the journey,
Faith Facts: What is Holy Week anyway?
Holy Week is the last week of Lent. It begins with Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter - this Sunday, and continues until Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday recounts Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem upon the back of a donkey’s colt the week of his death (Mark 11). The people waved palm branches as he passed and cheered, “Hosanna! Hosanna!” meaning “Save now!” We often celebrate Palm Sunday by waving palm branches of our own in praise of Jesus.
The Passion narrative is continued with Maundy Thursday. This day’s worship focuses on the events of the last meal Jesus had with his disciples on the night before his crucifixion (John 13, Mark 14). The day gets its name from the Latin mandatus, “commandment,” because Jesus gave the disciples the commandment that they should love one another at that meal. We remember how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as a servant and shared a meal that we now continue in the sacrament of Holy Communion. A Maundy Thursday service is traditionally concluded by removing all decorative things from the sanctuary—paraments, candles, etc.—as a solemn symbol of Christ’s exit from the world.
Good Friday is the observance of the Crucifixion of Christ. The traditional color for this day is black, the color of mourning. On Good Friday, we retell the story of the Passion. We hear of the struggles of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. We listen to the story of his trials, remembering that the same ones who shouted “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday were the ones who shouted “Crucify him!” on Friday. We hear of his journey to Golgotha and his death upon the cross there. We are called to remember how we have participated in Christ’s crucifixion. Holy Saturday is the day that Jesus remained in the tomb. It is a day of lost hope.
Living in Community
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