Thursday, May 21, 2015

Different Gifts for Service

Pentecost Sunday

This Sunday, the second reading will be from 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13. It would also be a good idea to read Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11 and John 20:19-23 (The lectionary gives a choice of readings for the 2nd reading and Gospel, I took the first one of each.)

In Baptism, we are brought into the Church, the body of Christ. And we are not all baptized into the Church so that we can be exactly alike.

In fact, it is necessary that we are different from each other. The Holy Spirit gives different kinds of spiritual gifts to each of us - and not only spiritual gifts, but all kinds of gifts. We have received different kinds of skills for different kinds of service - but these all come from God, and they are given to us for some benefit.

The church couldn’t really function if we were cookie cutters of each other. For example, if we were all theologians, we would all understand the need to go out to the world and tell the good news, and serve the poor, and comfort the sick and imprisoned, but… I’m pretty sure we’d all really prefer it if we could be in the group that got to teach the faith (you know, because we’re all theologians in this example, and that’s what we do best). We wouldn’t truly be equipped to do the best job comforting the sick - theologians aren’t exactly known for their bedside manner.

No, you need people whose abilities are suited to those things. We are many parts, and all suited to different things.

Now this is not to excuse us from service. If we do not have the skill for one kind of service, we have it for another.  If not teaching, then baking, or building, or singing, or sewing, or writing, or speaking, or knitting, or something, and we should put it to the service of God.

Not all service happens in organized ministry - sometimes we serve God by simply serving one another. Sometimes service is simply bringing joy to others by out manner - letting other see the joy you have in Christ is the first step in Evangelizing.

Consider what gifts God has given to you, and how they could be put to his service? Are there gifts that you aren’t using? If not, why not?

Let’s pray:

Giver of every good gift, help us to know the gifts and abilities that you’ve given to us for what they are: gifts. Help us to treasure them, and value them as you do. Show us the ways in which you want us to put those gifts to work for the benefit of your kingdom, and give us the grace, the courage, and the opportunity to act.

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