• John Williams

A Great Cast of Characters

Updated: Aug 11

"In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories… duh…duh…" (Law & Order)

Every great TV show has a great cast of characters. As the opening to Law and Order states, there are two sides to catching and putting away criminals. Without police investigating there would be no evidence to present at trial, and without a trial there would be no verdict rendered. They must work as a team or justice would not happen.

On the lighter side, think of “Gilligan’s Island.” Let’s face it, without Gilligan, they would have made it off that island! Without the professor, they wouldn’t even get close to making it off the island.

Then, there’s detective “Monk.” Without his assistant he couldn’t function, yet without his insights some very difficult crimes wouldn’t get solved. Then, there’s “The King of Queens.” Who would want to watch Doug and Carrie fight without the comic relief Arthur adds to the show?

Then, there are spin-off shows. Many of these shows don't make it since they’re centered around one character taken from a popular show. Since they no longer have the supporting cast, they don't work. A notable exception is “Frasier.” Frasier was a character taken from the popular show, “Cheers.” The reason this one worked - they created a strong group of characters. Frasier’s father and housekeeper offer a much needed balance and comic relief to Frasier’s uptight personality.

Our family has a new favorite show, “Leverage.” A team of criminals are assembled by a former insurance agent to catch people who’ve taken advantage of others. Each criminal assembled has their own specialty. They have a hitter, a grifter, a thief, a hacker, and a mastermind. Each plays a key role in pulling off the cons they run to catch the bad guys. Then, in the end, they give everything to the victim. It’s fun seeing them learn to work together and become a team. Together, they can accomplish what none of them could or would do on their own.

“How does all of this relate to my spiritual life?” you ask. In I Corinthians 12:12-31, Paul uses the analogy of the body to discuss this principle as it relates to the church. Our bodies are a unit made up of many parts that must work together in order to function properly.

As the church, we need to learn to see each member as a valuable asset. We need to strive to work together and not try to complete the mission of Christ as a solo unit. We need each other. We can accomplish so much more as a unit than we can on our own. Each of us is created with our own set of strengths and weaknesses. We need others around us to balance our strengths and weaknesses and spur us on and encourage us. We need others around us functioning in community to achieve what God would like to accomplish through us.

As a solo singer, I could easily write all of my songs for piano and solo voice. But what a boring album that would be. The music becomes so much better when I pull in other instrumentalists and singers. Then there are the contributions of a producer that add such dimension to the music. As I allow the music God gives me to be shared and honed by fellow musicians, it gets better. Far better than anything I could do on my own.

So, what cast of characters has God placed you in? How can you work together in ways that none of you can do alone? Ask God to show you the value in each character He places in your life. Ask Him to show you how to function better in this community. Then, be amazed at what He will do!

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