More From Ric Lillard

November 29, 2023 by Ric Lillard (Maryland, USA)

Since about a year and a half ago when I submitted my meditation to The Upper Room, I continue to play and enjoy the banjo. I have played for 20 years. I recently played during the lunch hour at a local church mission meeting with a fellow banjo player, and I recently played with my church choir. I like to give back to the Christian community for the blessing of this talent that God has given me. I have felt the Spirit urging me to share my talents with others, despite my being prone to “stage fright.”

The scripture cited in my Upper Room meditation has always been very meaningful to me. The fact that the church is Christ’s body is very unifying and exciting. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of Christ’s body and have his resurrection power and servant mindset? This scripture that Paul wrote is so concise to me and makes it very clear that every church member is a part of Christ’s body and has been equipped in a way particular to that person to serve others. 

Even though this concept may be a little hard for children to understand (or maybe not!), I think the earlier we introduce it to them, the better. Knowing that they are a part of Christ’s body may stick with them for the rest of their lives. I hope so. I think the banjo’s fifth string perfectly illustrates how “God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it” (1 Cor. 12:24, NIV). The fifth string truly sounds a bright and cheerful tone. Due to space limitations in The Upper Room, my meditation didn’t cover my entire children’s message. I remember telling the children that they have many talents that bring joy to the church, such as painting beautiful pictures, singing, or just laughing and being cheerful. They brighten the life of the church and give the adults hope, and these things are very important.

Finally, I think many authors of Upper Room meditations would agree that the Holy Spirit prompts their writing. I certainly feel that way as I often sense the ideas I have are provided by the Holy Spirit. I sense that they are not mine, that the Spirit is writing through me. Therefore, I must give the Spirit credit and I thank The Upper Room editors for publishing my meditation and furthering the spread of the Gospel.

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