From Ruth Heilman, Minister of Music …
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12: 12
I recently returned from a “once in a lifetime” journey. It started over a year ago, with early planning and initial deposits. Rehearsals began in September, with double rehearsal weeks the norm throughout the fall and Christmas. Tour itineraries were conceived and refined many times. The Mahler 8 was among the most difficult choral music I have ever encountered, especially because we were learning it in isolation, without hearing or seeing the whole picture. I listened to recordings over and over leading up to the tour. So many different pieces needed to come together, and by God’s grace, they did! On January 10, I traveled to England with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. I’ll never forget being with dear friends, making new friends, singing in and visiting spectacular and historic venues, and reconnecting with our German exchange student in Birmingham. Such joy! I’m grateful for the people who made it all come together – the BCAS staff, tour guides, airport and airline staff, bus drivers, restaurant and hotel workers, and many more.
Then there was Mahler 8. After arriving, we rehearsed five times with the other choruses, orchestra, eight soloists, and a 33-year-old dynamo conductor. Again, many pieces had to come together to make it a success. Was it hard work? Yes! Did it come together? Oh, my, yes! The concerts were amazing, and I was blessed to be one small member of that musical body.
So it is with Christ and His mission. Each of us is blessed and gifted differently. We don’t always know how we fit in, or we don’t think we are good enough. Sometimes, God even surprises us with opportunities and talents we didn’t even know we had! He says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23). He reminds us that our work, done in His name, is never done in vain. Rather, it will be used to His glory. We don’t always see the final product, but it if our labor is done in the love of Christ, it is beautiful. So do your thing, whatever that is, all to the glory of God!
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11a