Over the past two months, small group sessions in grades six through eight have spent time working through what it means to be a part of the same team as we put on the jersey of Christ. Former EC student, Aram Bahsian introduced us to this idea as part of our school theme. All students at ECMS are part of the same team but we struggle to treat each other this way: it is our tendency to think of ourselves rather than focusing on the teamwork, communication, and encouragement it takes to be a part of this team. Mr. Bashian reminded us that no matter how hard we try to fit in or fear being made fun of, each of us was put on this team, ON purpose, FOR purpose, and WITH purpose.
A recent small group meeting had us look at the story of Samuel choosing David, a shepherd boy, to be the future king. God had a greater purpose for David; he knew that David was a part of God’s team because He knew his heart. And David made a choice to wear that jersey of Christ all the time rather than just throw it on when it was convenient for him. We read in John 17 that even before His death, it was the desire of Jesus for all of His believers to be ONE. What would this community look like if we allowed ourselves to all be a part of the same team and actually live this out? What a difference that would make not only in our own lives but also of those around us!
So what does it look like to wear this jersey? Each small group decorated a “jersey” with words of encouragement and ways in which we can work on being better members of God’s team. Some suggestions were: remember that no one is an accident, tell others about Jesus whenever we can, encourage and build each other up, speak truth in a way that causes growth, and remember that we were all created in God’s image.
Several weeks later, Pastor David Noel continued with this idea as we acknowledged the challenges of being all on the same team when there are so many differences all around us. But Revelations 7:9-12 reminds us that despite those differences we will, one day, be all worshipping together in Heaven. Isn’t that a beautiful image? In Heaven we won’t need to worry about what others think, we won’t be motivated by our own selfish desires, and we will only be focused on worshipping the lamb. But this can only happen through the blood of Jesus!
This requires us to go beyond simply says “we will treat each other better” or “we don’t gossip.” This requires true love that allows us to love one another just as Christ loved us. How can you focus on being a part of the same team this Lent season? Use the words of John 17 to focus on glorifying Jesus so that the world will know that we love Him.
Blog, Middle School