I can remember a time years ago when I directed (sort of) a Christmas play at a small Nazarene Church.
I made the mistake of handing over my directorial duties to the kids when I asked who wanted to play the leading characters, Mary and Joseph. Up went the hands and I had to take charge again and assign the roles.
Next, I had to choose the supporting characters, the shepherds, wise men, and the angels.
Finally, I had to decide who would pretend to be the camels and donkeys, the “bit parts.” Of course, I quickly told the soon-to-be camels and donkeys their parts were just as important as the others to avoid a rebellion.
In the same way, God assures us there are no “bit parts” in his play.
Role Playing in the Bible
If you were to ask people the most recognizable names in the Bible, those who played a major role in God's plan, his divine play, people like Adam, Eve, Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Solomon, the Apostles, Paul, Mary (the mother of Jesus), and Jesus would be among the answers.
Who would be listed as playing secondary, supporting roles? Perhaps Jabez, Josiah, Naaman, Jethro, Aaron, Elisha, Naomi, Barabbas, and the Thief on the Cross would be mentioned. And there are dozens more who play supporting roles and have their own interesting and significant stories to tell.
But what about the characters who played a role in Scripture that go unnamed? What about the those who sat at the foot of Jesus while he taught? Those in the crowd who enjoyed the loaves and fishes, and the boy who gave up his lunch to feed them? And the crowd who yelled "Crucify him," sending Jesus to the Cross.
You and I, regardless of how we perceive the importance of the part we have in God's divine play, have a part to play. We also have to be ready to switch parts or even play a bigger part. No matter how small and inconsequential we think our part may be, it's not a bit part if we are following God's script.
In God's Words
"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ." (1 Corinthians 12:12)
"So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (Romans 12:5)
"Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant," (Matthew 20:26)
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’" (Matthew 25:21)
In the Words of Others
"I always say it takes as much preparation and thought to do a small part as a leading part. In some ways, leads are easier because you have the luxury of time to discover the character." John C. Reilly
"When you age, you can do all kinds of roles. You don't have to look great. You can be the mom, the aunt. You can have a small part. You're an actor." Valerie Harper
In Your Words
What do you consider your role to be in God's overall plan? Would you describe it as a major role, a supporting role, or a bit part? Why?
How do you think your role in God's plan has changed as you grew older?
How do you think God prepared you for your role? What part has the Holy Spirit played in preparing you for your role?
Do you think you have lived up to God's expectations in the way your have played your part? How about you expectations? Why? How do you feel about your answers?