SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 12:1-3
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.
Karen Stokes shares that “All of this discernment, all of these gifts, services, and activities are activated by God for a purpose. Each person, Paul says, is given a manifestation of the Spirit to be used for the common good. In the culture that surrounds the church today, and often even within the church, individualism has been exalted to such high status that the phrase ‘common good’ has nearly vanished from the lexicon. Paul’s words offer a refreshing, even shocking reminder that faith, while personal, is never private, and that the gift each person has been given is meant to be shared.”
Stokes makes a very important point here that “In the culture that surrounds the church today, and often even within the church, individualism has been exalted to such high status that the phrase ‘common good’ has nearly vanished from the lexicon.” That is not to sound like a downer here, but I think we could all identify examples of this situation rather easily. At the same time though, even in the midst of this pandemic, I feel we can also find countless examples of the exact opposite. The truth is, I think if we go in with a certain mindset, we will find what we expect to find because we are less aware of what we do not expect to find. I like to think of Stokes’ words as a challenge to be better, both as an individual and as the church.
What gifts has God given you? Which of these are shared in community? What gifts do you see in others? Which of those are shared in community?
Blessing God, we are indeed blessed with the gifts you have given us. Help us to use them to help others and increase the knowledge of and connection to you amongst all creation. Amen.