By the Waters of Babylon – Ps. 137:1
There’s a story told about a church organist who played one of those old-fashioned organs – the type that had to be pumped by hand to get air flowing through the pipes and reeds. It was no small honor to be selected to be the boy or girl who operated the hand pump. As this particular story goes, the organist was practicing on a Saturday afternoon, and the pump boy was working diligently at the side of the console. The boy worked frantically during the organist’s long practice, in order to keep the bellows filled with the needed air pressure. As the afternoon wore on, the boy became more and more tired and bored.
Finally, the practice time was over. The organist stopped playing, without a word, started toward the door of the church. At the door, the organist turned back and announced to the boy that he thought the music would go quite well the next day and that he would, no doubt, play brilliantly the next morning. Then, the organist left.
The next morning, the service proceeded quite well, at least until the end of the service. A rousing postlude was played. In the middle of the organist’s finest hour, the boy decided to take a rest. We can only imagine the gleam in his eye as the organ whined and then stopped altogether. Silence reigned until the boy started pumping again.
After the service, the boy intercepted the organist and boldly said, “Now, who makes the music in this church? Maybe we do it together!” The organist took the point and, in the process, learned a real lesson in humility.
Without the young boy, the organist was nothing. Without a spirit of cooperation and love, we are nothing. If we are unwilling to witness as Christians to Jesus’ teachings, then our world will be the poorer, and our stance as Christians will be a sham. If we want to be effective and important in the Kingdom, then we must be servants of others, and not just ourselves.