“THE SUPPORTING CAST”
This message is an addition to the main 2022 Vision teaching series. I was inspired to write it after reading the UCB “Word for Today” of the 10th February 2022, which I reproduce in full. It helps answer the following question:
Who am I, that I should be considered worthy to risk and resist the increasing Godlessness that is pervading not only our society but the Church of God? Surely this is a task for those who are “leading players” in the struggle – the ministers, the pastors, the teachers, the evangelists. Surely this is not a challenge for me? For who am I? I am no more than a member of the “supporting cast”.
The supporting cast
10 FEBRUARY 2022
‘As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you.’
Luke 22:10 NLT
At Oscar time, Hollywood hands out awards to the best actor, producer, director, editor, costume designer, etc. But the Screen Actors Guild knows there would be no place for big stars and best movies without the supporting cast and the contributions of technical and artistic crews. The Oscars remind us that the brightest lights can only shine because of the lesser lights that go unrecognised. Scripture tells us that God also has a supporting cast; people who are happy to work behind the scenes. They’re the ones who go about their business at home, at work, and at church, serving quietly, gladly, and faithfully. Families are raised, nations are strengthened, businesses prosper, and churches grow, thanks to those who do the little things that make all the difference. The Bible is filled with behind-the-scenes people, like the unnamed ‘man carrying a pitcher of water’ who led Peter and John to the upper room for Jesus’ eve-of-crucifixion meeting with His disciples. Or people like ‘James the less’ (Mark 15:40 KJV), a relatively unknown disciple, often overlooked by men – but never by God! Whatever you do, no matter how small, take this promise to heart: ‘God is not unjust to forget your work and labour of love which you have shown towards His name’ (Hebrews 6:10 NKJV). So, stay faithful. Jesus said, ‘Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be’ (Revelation 22:12 KJV). The truth is that God is planning His own Oscar ceremony – and you can be part of it!
It’s the little, un-named, boy bringing the loaves and fishes that Jesus is going to do the miracle with.
It’s the donkey carrying Balaam.
It’s the colt carrying Jesus into Jerusalem.
It’s the un-named man carrying a water jar…
As we decide whether we are going to risk all and resist all, you might think that “little you” will never make a difference…but these examples declare that…YOU WILL!
The famous Morcombe and Wise Christmas show featuring “Andrew Preview” shows the importance of playing “all the right notes” in all the right order! We all have our part to play in the orchestra of life – and we must play our part well:
God will take the most unassuming people and give them a place of honour through what they are willing to do for Him. When we feel that we are not doing something of value remember that we all have different gifts, and we are all necessary – not just the people in the front – we need the people “doing the background stuff”.
Fiona Castle remembers this saying from her late husband, Roy: “God is the composer, Jesus is the conductor, and we are all playing the different instruments and if we are all playing them at the right time, in the right way, all together, then we will make a nice sound”.
One of the most successful deceptions of our enemy, the devil, is to persuade us that we do not matter, because we are no more than supporting cast. The devil knows that we must risk all and resist all that the world wants us to do…and so we should not be surprised that he seeks to convince us that we do not matter – the risk and the resistance is to be left to those who are more worthy than we. What a lie! Without our part, our risk and our resistance the Kingdom of God is weakened and our cause is in jeopardy. Let us finish by remembering what Paul says about how important each one of us is in the part that we play:
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptised by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 And so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it (1 Corinthians 12: 12-27)