variation on a theme from 1 Corinthians 12

Watch this video.
Then read what’s below.
Then, if you wish, read what’s below to the video—
editing as necessary for timing

Now there are varieties of rhythms,
but the same beat;
and there are varieties of ways of making sounds—
with a basketball, say,
but all those different sounds
take their place in the same time;
and there are varieties of ways to move
while making that rich variety of sounds,
but it is the same tempo
which activates all of them in everyone—
all the movement, all the ways of making sound,
all the different sounds, all the different rhythms
and the one beat.

For just as the beat is one
and has many measures—many rhythms,
and all the members of the music,
though many, are one,
so it is with Christ.

For in the one Spirit we were all
baptized into the one beat—
the in-crowd or the out, girls or boys,
black or white, teacher or student—
and we were all made
to live to the pulse of one Spirit.

Indeed, the body does not consist
of one cadence but of many.
If the one would say,
“Because I am not dribbling just like her,
I am not a part of the beat,”
that would not make her
any less a part of the music.

And if another would say,
“Because I can’t do the same tricks
with a basketball that she can—
because I don’t have that kind of control
of the ball,
I do not belong to the beat,”
that would not make her
any less a part of the music.

If the whole beat were one rhythm,
where would the richness of the music be?
If the whole beat were the same,
how could it possibly be interesting, intriguing,
beautiful and wondrous?

But as it is, God arranged
the members within the beat,
each one of them, as God chose.
If all were a single rhythm,
where would the music be?
As it is, there are many members,
yet one beat.
The one cannot say to the other,
“I have no need of you—
no need of your unique sound,”
nor again another to another,
“I have no need of you—
no need of the way you move to the beat.”

On the contrary, the members of the beat
that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
for the whole would not be without them,
and those members of the beat
that we think less impressive
we appreciate with greater honor,
and the more quiet, subtle rhythms
are treated with greater respect;
whereas the louder, more obvious ones
do not need this.

But God has so arranged the body,
giving the greater honor to the least obvious sounds,
that bring depth and resonance to the whole,
that there may be no dissension
within the body, but the members
may have the same care for one another.
If one expression of the beat suffers,
all suffer together with it;
if one expression of the beat is honored,
all rejoice together with it.

Now you are the beat of Christ
and individually members of it.

And God has appointed in the beat
first those who stomp on grates,
second those who use the side of the dumpster,
third those who use some kind of a grate;
then a door,
then the top of the dumpster,
another dumpster,
another grate,
stomping and dribbling.

Are all doing this? Are all doing that?
Are all making the same sounds?
Do all use the same things around them?
Do all possess the same abilities?
Do all repeat the same rhythm?

But strive for the one beat.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.


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