Sunday, January 30, 2011

National Kazoo Day

I have a 2011 calendar that gives an unusual listing of all the “national” holidays that are not particularly well known or agreed upon by the general public. This winsome list includes: national popcorn day, national gumdrop day, random acts of kindness day, toothache day, thank a mailman day, sunglasses day, etc. January 28th is “National Kazoo Day” and there is no clue in this calendar as to why this day was chosen or why kazoos are lifted up for appreciation.

I went online and studied up on kazoos. Apparently their origin goes back to ancient times in Africa where instruments known as “mirlitons” were used in tribal ceremonies for the purpose of imitating a voice using a vibrating membrane. Through the years people from all over the world have used some kind of instrument like a kazoo to create a masked voice sound in theatre, worship, and folk music.

I used to teach vocal music in the public schools and I found that everyone could play a kazoo. All you needed was a voice and the kazoo would use whatever tune you would hum into it and create an interesting imitation.

The Apostle Paul wrote many letters from a prison cell and in these letters he admonishes his churches to imitate him. In Philippians 3:17 he writes “brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.” Paul was not flattering himself but he earnestly had the best interest of the church in mind when he wrote these things. The early Christians did not have Bibles to read from like we do today. The fledgling church of Paul’s day depended on oral tradition, the teachings of the leaders and most importantly the example of these leaders to show the meaning of the Christian life. Paul offered himself as a model for others to follow. He was the” tune” and the early church people were like the kazoos, imitating his tune.

Every day you and I are being watched by someone who is on a Christian journey to maturity. Our example is the “Bible” that people see in action. A thousand times each day we make choices that can exemplify Christ or exemplify the world. Every time we model the Christian life we set forth an example for others to follow. May we be an encouragement and an inspiration for those who are watching.

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