"Preaching to the Choir"
How many time have you heard the phrase " Your preaching to the choir"? I bet you have even said it yourself. The phrase can make one feel that they are wasting their time or the message is lost to those who already know it. In reality, especially in this day and age, we can not assume it is the case. Just because we see someone in church or in ministries it does not mean they got the massage or that they do not need to hear it.
The assumption is that those outside of the church need the message more then those in but let's face the facts. For people to have left the church, they had to be in the church first to do so. They were part of that choir that we speak about when we say that phrase. I am not saying that we do not need to go out and spread the Gospel but as we go out make sure we have people left back to preach it to the choir as well. Jesus did go out after the lost sheep, but He also left the other sheep together as a group as well. We are to help guide one another as well. What do we gain if we bring one in as one leaves? It is the mission to go out and also keep the choir in the meantime.
The other area is that how can we go out and evangelize unless we are first evangelized ourselves? If the body of the church is not nourished spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally then how do we expect those to go out and be able to do and preach the faith? If we do not organize the choir, give them the songs sheets, then what can we really expect of them. Come Sunday the "people of the choir " will sing whatever each one thinks, some may show up late or not at all, go off and get the songs from someone else or just stand there and not sing. If that's the case then why have a choir?
Just because someone comes to mass, goes to a prayer group, belongs to a ministry etc.... It does not mean that they are good to go and no care is needed. When that seed is planted and the roots take hold, the gardener doesn't say “ok my job is done”. The plant needed the same care as it did before. It must be watered, weeds need to be cleared, soil needs to be nourished. If these things are not done then the plant dies. It is the same for the faith of us all. If it is not taken care of then it may start to die. When this starts people can leave the church and even look for another church to cultivate their faith.
It is more then just getting the pews filled. It is about the hearts in the pews being opened to the Trinity, the Eucharist, Mary, Reconciliation, the Saints and the Faith itself. This is not a mission of numbers but a mission of conversions of the Mind, Heart and Soul. It is a dual mission that is inside the walls and outside of the church. One is not more important then the other. Each one of us can aid in this mission.
I have been looking around at those at mass, adoration, benediction and what I see is the past, the future and present day church and each has their own faith journey. We all bring the body of the church into action and with that our Faith. We all need to be reminded at times the missions of the Faith. To grow in faith, we must work on it and how else do we get that but through being part of that “choir” or the one preaching to it.
The last thing I will say is this:
Did Jesus say to the twelve Apostles “ Ok, you guys have heard me preach before so you stay here and I will talk to them over there” or to the people who followed Jesus “ Listen, you heard this before, you all are ok and good to go. No reason to hear it again”. Of course NOT.... and why is that? It is because we all need to be reminded, learn more, go deeper, strengthen the faith, hold onto the message, and hear Him in our hearts. There is no preaching to the choir to me anymore. It is just helping my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ so that we all can be strength to preach the Good News inside and outside of the church.
Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may all the choirs sing of the Good News.