#Song4Lent · Bible Study · Church of England · Churches Together in Britain · Felixstowe · Lent · Movie · Musical Theatre · Sermon

A Song for Lent – Day 9 – Believing in others is easy but belief in myself is another story

To Read: Click on song title to watch a video

If Just One Person Believes in You

from Snoopy the Musical 

Snoopy: 
If just one person believes in you.

Deep enough, and strong enough, believes in you.
Hard enough, and long enough before you knew it,
Someone else would think, if he can do it, I can do it. Making it..

Snoopy and Patty:
Two! Two whole people who believe in you.

And if two whole people believe in you.
Deep enough, and strong enough believe in you. Hard enough, and long
enough there’s bound to be some other person who believes in making it a threesome.
Making it…

Sally joins:
Three….people you can say, believe in me.

And if three whole people, why not…

Linus joins:
Four. And if four whole people, why not…

Lucy joins:
More, and…

Charlie Brown joins:
More, and more. And when all those people believe in you,
Deep enough and strong enough believe in you,
Hard enough and long enough it stands to reason you,
Yourself will start to see what everybody sees in you.
And maybe even you, can believe in you, too. 

 

From the Scriptures:

Jesus said… ‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

John 17.20-24

To Reflect:

Lucy and Ben Akers are my forever friends.

It was during the Signing of the Register at their wedding that one of Snoopy the Musicaltheir guests, coincidentally an Old Boy from my school, stood up and sang the part of Snoopy in this song.  Then another guest stood up to sing Patty’s words, and one more as Sally, and a fourth as Linus and then Lucy and then Charlie Brown and then the whole church.  It was no surprise that the newly minted husband and wife and their vicar were in floods of happy tears and we had to sing it all over again.  Mind you if most of your friends are from Ipswich Opera and Dramatic Society you should expect something special to happen.

A wedding is perhaps one of the happiest places to demonstrate the truth of the song, ‘If just one person believes in you’.  Two people stand next to each other and say each to the other ‘you help me to be “me” I promise I will help you to be “you” from today onwards’.  And this is one of the reasons why the Church should celebrate allsorts of weddings whenever they are asked.

When someone ‘believes in me’ be it the archetypal, ‘Nice sermon, vicar’ to the more personal and gentle thanks after a funeral, I find that I can finally believe that I am somehow and to some extent a person who is valuable and valued.

Somewhere in my upbringing, and I do not think I am alone in this, I learnt to believe that I am worthless and would never make anything of myself.

Perhaps it was something they put in the tea at British boarding schools or a particular worldview of my early experiences of Christianity.  To be honest it does not matter from where it found it roots, all it has done is moulded me into a sort of false humility that forces me to put myself down even when I think I may have perhaps, possibly, done something that is even marginally good.

How do I (for it remains a personal struggle) throw of these shackles of unworthiness and lack of self-esteem?  Snoopy gives the answer; if just one, or even two or three or four or more, persons believe in me maybe I can believe in me too?

Of course this is a two way street.  If I want the help of people believing in me it may find its beginnings when I believe in them. This means lifting my eyes from my own despair and emptiness to the light I see in others and telling them how bright they shine.

And if it means that all I am known for is being some sort of Sally Sunshine who spends her life, sometimes annoyingly, spreading joy so is it.

And if you want to have a moan about that please refer all complaints to Lucy and Ben Akers J

To Pray:

I have not yet reached the shore where there is no hatred,
the clouds of unjust struggles have not yet passed.
The scars of wounds endured have not yet closed,
warm trust in man lies totally dead.

From the springs of forgetting I have not drunk wisdom,
weary memories still poison me.

From the glades of forgiveness I am still distant,
from the sanctuary of refuge I am a great way separated.

Lord, bring me the clear dawn of other days,
may all painful shadows depart from me.

Let me look with tender emotion on the scars of my wounds,
and with meek goodness upon the faces of my enemies.

Bring me the dawn whilst the way is so long,
but do not hinder my striving until I reach the shore.

Traian Dors, Romania

To Do:

1)    St Barnabas the ‘Johnny come lately’ amongst the Apostles was called the ‘son of encouragement’. To whom can you be ‘Barnabas today.

2)    Who is it in your life who was ‘the one person who believed in you’?  If you can say ‘thank you’.

Encore: Click on song title to watch a video

Don’t be anything less than everything you can be is a call from the cast of Snoopy the Musical for each of us to bloom just a little bit more.  Listen, enjoy, and then do.

Acknowledgements:

Prayers are from ‘Prayers Encircling the World’ and are copyright © SPCK: 1998.
Scripture quotations are copyright © New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
These Reflections, ‘A Song for Lent – 40 Days in the West End’ are copyright © Andrew Dotchin 2018

 

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