On the Sunday platform with the worship team, first song (no, it couldn’t even be the LAST song, had to be number one!), upbeat tempo in full gusto, and there goes a string! As it starts flapping in the front of sound hole, I somehow manage to keep the beat and finish the song, after which I just wrap what’s left of the sting around the head stock, thankful that I somehow didn’t go horribly out of tune (maybe a little), and that I didn’t get slapped in the face with a thin piece of steel.
This is not the first time I’ve popped a string during a set, and it’s really not a serious problem, especially since I play a twelve-string guitar. Shoot, I still have eleven strings. But then it hits me—this is exactly what the phrase “koinonia” is about.
Koinonia is a word that has its origins in the ancient Christian community. It indicates shared experience, which can be applied on several different levels. It includes my participation and contribution to the whole. I have a part to play, however small it may seem (at the time), and even if that contribution is not acknowledged by others, it is a stand out to God my Father.
So back to my Fender fiasco. A few other considerations:
- When one strings pops, the others can still continue the song. And when one member of the Body of Christ “over-stretches”, the others can continue the work while the wounded one is gently wrapped around the Headstock until the situation is repaired.
- Of course, some don’t want to be repaired. Their “break” is, unfortunately, with fellowship altogether. This is particularly tragic, but offenses still happen and the work of building God’s kingdom is still our mandate.
- Now, this kind of break generally throws the whole instrument out of tune. Out of tune is just ugly. It’s best to just STOP, admit the problem regardless how interruptive or awkward, and with the help of others to get back in tune before starting the next song. Otherwise, the whole song is pretty well useless and distracting. (I won’t insult you by explaining the obvious comparisons…)
Admittedly, I can be a bit of a procrastinator. Some of the team members are gone this coming Sunday, you know, ones that helped cover the distraction of my worn out string. I finally got the rest of the strings replaced, and now they are s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g so that they will (hopefully) stay in tune tomorrow. New strings take time. But that’s for another analogy.
Koinonia is a powerful thing.
Are you in tune with the rest of the band?
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
(by John Fawett)