Probably unsurprisingly to most, I am a big fan of children’s television. Some of it I can’t stand, but there are other shows that I legitimately enjoy. One of them I found while scanning the channels the night before a college interview. Another is one that I started watching when I was actually a child. I don’t watch it regularly on TV anymore, but I remember it well. At some point that I can’t recall, my parents purchased a video (VHS!) with the highlights of the songs featuring two characters and I still sing those songs regularly.
There’s one song that a character sings as he’s getting into bed, so it makes sense that it’s very lullabyish and calming. Every now and then, I look it up on YouTube and listen to it right before bed to calm me down or to help my brain stop running through to-do lists from the day prior and the one to come. Typically, however, when I type in the search box for the song, I write the song title and the name of the show. I was already a bit tired on this occasion, and was lying on my side, so I decided to just type the name of the song with one hand instead. This shouldn’t have been unexpected, but this changed my search results. The video/song I was looking for came up, but something else joined it.
It was a video of one of my favorite actors singing the song, and doing so in such a raw and beautiful way that I was quite moved. I was recounting this story to one of my friends, who questioned whether a cover of a song from a children’s show could really be considered “raw,” but I think the issue resided in the fact that I had forgotten that other people loved this song as much as I did. I hadn’t really considered that other people might snuggle up and sing it quietly sometimes. So when somebody else took it and sang it just as quietly (this is not at all the first thing that shows up in a search for this actor’s songs), it had some effect.
I think this is a little bit of what good fellowship does. It is, in part, when another person takes something that is precious to you both and makes it more beautiful and meaningful for both of you. Specifically in terms of Christian fellowship, I have been so encouraged by watching people I know and strangers alike take this incredible faith and put it into action, or discover deeper meaning in the word of God and share it. It makes me want to strive more towards the goal of being like Christ, too!
I also find that this ought to be a two-way street, and that if one way is working, the other way sometimes starts working as a result. Because of how encouraged I have been by others, I feel all the more inspired to uplift them in the same way. That is one function of this blog, as Parakaleo means “to call out to one another” or “to encourage,” but we’re in real trouble if I think I only need to contribute to Christian community every other week on a steady basis. It seems that the best fellowship stems from the spontaneity of being encouraged both when you least expect it and when you most need it.
So even though we may be appalled by a horrific remix of a treasured song on occasion, let’s keep in mind that we are made for those times when an artist’s interpretation of the music or lyrics betters our own. Or in the terms used in Hebrews 10, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
I like how this passage puts a good deal of responsibility on us. It talks about a number of things that Jesus has done- cleansing us, giving us confidence, being our “great priest,” and being faithful, but it gives us things to do as well. We need to hold consider how to “stir up one another to love and good works,” and then actually do that to an increasing degree. (Side note: This is why I love rereading Bible passages. I have read over this who knows how many times, and I think this is the first where I’ve really noticed the three calls to action- maybe more if you consider the breakdown of “considering” and “doing”- in this one sentence.)
I’m praying that God will open my heart and mind to do just that and be a blessing to His people, and everyone around me, as we work towards godliness and sharing His love together.