Imagine opening a garage door and seeing a bicycle splayed out on the concrete, its various parts lined up across the floor. There’s the handle bars over there and there are the tires separated from the rim that is lying beside it and so forth. Then imagine the owner of the bike telling you, this is what it means to have a bike. What on earth could such a statement be telling us other than the owner of the bike has confused parts with the whole?
We live in this kind of age though where people think that you —YOU— can be explained by reducing you to your various parts or your blood chemistry. But just as a bike is more than the sum of its parts (so that actually riding a bike and feeling that nearly inexplicable feeling of balancing on two tires and the breeze gliding across your face is the point) so it is with you. You are more than the sum of your parts. You are a living soul.
So imagine that garage door opening and then in a kind of backwards-winding of a film, you watch as the parts reattach themselves one by one until, wow, the bike stands before you. And its standing before you is also a beckoning to you to ride it.
That dear friends is Church on a good day. When the church door opens and we cross over the threshold, we are not reduced to our various and multiples parts. Instead, we are put back together; we are reattached; we are re-membered. And that experience of song-praise-prayer-proclamation is not so far removed from riding a bike and defying gravity and being engaged with the world around us in a remarkably different perspective than when we are standing on a corner waiting for traffic to stop or sitting in a cubicle answering a phone call. It is invigorating and we are renewed because the truth is, you really are more than the sum of your parts. In the midst of the congregation, you have transcended those parts and become part of the whole. I hope you get on a bike this week. I hope you’ll put aside the excuses for not attending church and get yourself into the congregation of those who pray, praise and proclaim the Truth of God’s abiding love for us. ~See you Sunday