It was a hot, summer morning, but it was a great day for a picnic. I know not everyone shares my opinion, but I think the outdoor worship service is one of the best of the year.
I want to thank the many people who worked to make everything go so smoothly. There were many volunteers that I can't even begin to name, because I was too busy with my own work even to see who they all were. I do want to thank Norm in particular, though, because I know he was there early, helping me find power cords and setting up tents and chairs. Plus, I think I spotted him later mixing lemonade and tending to the grill. It seemed like he was a part of everything! Of course, since it was a pot luck lunch, everyone there had a part in it. So thanks to everyone for a great worship service and lunch.
I was thinking about Pastor's metaphor of the pot luck and everyone's individual contribution leading to a great meal. In the same vein, this past week I built a small retaining wall in my lawn. It seemed like every brick in the store had some flaw, and I was constantly struggling to keep things as close to level as possible but knowing there were tons of minor issues. The end product, though, is something I'm quite proud of and enhances the yard.
Both examples are analogous to a choir (or to a congregation singing a hymn). For instance, while I can carry a tune, no one will ever sign me to a recording contract or ask me to sing at the Met. But when I was at St. Olaf, I was fortunate enough to sing in the annual Christmas Festival concert every year. Choirs don't require perfection from each member. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, as the cliche goes, but the more parts (the more voices) the greater the sum.