Eric is having a mid-life crisis, his days are grey, his work unfulfilling, his family life a struggle. What to do… what to do? The swimming pool is often his refuge, then one day he encounters a group of men sitting on the bottom of the pool, holding each other’s feet and attempting to stand on top of each other. What on earth is going on?
What is going on is that these broken men have found solace in forming a (say it quietly) synchronised swimming team! Their lives have crumbled and they find friendship in the water. They will never be the best, they are not seeking to win medals, but the water has become an aquatic bond for them, a safe place when they can banter and jibe, argue and support, respect and rebuff, encourage and befriend each other.
The disciples of Jesus were very good at one particular thing – arguing about which one of them was the greatest. Matthew, Mark and Luke all mention it in their gospel blogs, and Luke mentions it twice! The second time being on the night of the Last Supper. The disciples have been with Jesus for three years and yes – they are STILL worried about outdoing each other. The penny still has not dropped. They cannot help tripping over their own egos. On one occasion James and John enlist the help of their dear old mum, so they can ask Jesus if they can have the top jobs in his new government. What are they like? Well… us, to put it bluntly. What are we like? Them. Arguing disciples, broken women and men, with quite different personalities, struggling along as God’s body on earth. A kind of team, like Eric and his mates, but a limping, dysfunctional one, a team that will always need the help of its extraordinary coach. A team designed to be dysfunctional without Jesus. A body full of diverse parts that banter and jibe, argue and support, respect and rebuff, encourage and befriend one another. Thus it was, and thus it will always be.