updated November 16, 2019
Since my husband and I both started a daily gratitude list, every day is a kind of Thanksgiving Day.
And since the church often makes it onto my list, today I’m sharing some challenging words to and about the church from The Master Musician: Meditations on Jesus (InterVarsity Press, 2015) by John Michael Talbot.
After coming to Christ as part of the Jesus Movement of the 1970s, John Michael Talbot converted to Catholicism and went on to found the Brothers and Sisters of Charity as an “integrated monastic community” of both singles and families. He is an author, speaker, award-winning musician, and the most popular artist in Catholic music. At the end of this post, you can also listen to the audio of his companion song, The Master Musician.
Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating in the USA today, and for all of us, “Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
We recognize that we are not complete in ourselves and depend on others for our very identity. That is why we are called the body of Christ. We humbly recognize the need for others in order for ourselves to be complete. We die to ourselves for the benefit of others out of selfless love and so break through the greatest of all self-fulfillment and life purpose. Not one of us makes up the body of Christ alone. It can only be done in union with others. Without others we cannot really be called Christian.
This confronts the rampant individualism of the West. No doubt, we have become a “me-first” society. This attitude breaks down families. It breaks down Christian communities and churches. It is even breaking down the work force. . . .
We seem to have forgotten that the more subtle and less glamorous tones within the orchestra may be more important to the overall effect of the music than the featured instruments.
Many times we think that one instrument is more important than another, or we pick out only one or the other to listen to. This creates an imbalance in the harmony of the symphonic sound. The music was written to be heard as a whole. One instrument or section is not meant to overpower another but to blend together–to complement one another.
For the church, this means that the rich must join together with the poor; the strong with the weak. This radically challenges the materialism of the West. . . . – John Michael Talbot
For more on everyday acts of faith,