The Fourth C – Community

1 Corinthians 12: 1-11 Spiritual Gifts

12 Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.[c] The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages,[d] while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

Our confession of faith and covenant of baptism bring us into the family and community of believers. We somehow feel like this new community will tell us or assign us a role and task within our new family. This is a familiar, yet unproductive path that will not benefit ourselves or others. Think about it this way – when we come into a community what do we typically look for ? We look for products and services that our lives need and also compliment one another. For example; we would look for some basic community connections – Grocery Store, Gas Station ( maybe with a mechanic on duty ), Cleaners, Doctor, Dentist ……. We may even move into a community to add a product or service that we have the skill to provide thus becoming a valuable contributing part of the community.

The great thing for us as a member of the new Christian community is that we all have at least one gift. In his letter to the Church in Corinth Paul helps to guide our thoughts of our gifts and the purpose of those gifts. Paul is clear that a spiritual gift is given to each one of us and the purpose of those gifts is to help and support one another. Paul is also clear that these gifts are a blessing from God given to each of us to compliment the different gifts given to other believers. This gift from God has been given to us as He has decided, and our role is to use that gift in a way that would be pleasing to Him. We don’t have to worry about what the community needs as much as putting our time and energy into our gift and serving others. May we dedicate and spend our time using our gift for God and not in questioning why we don’t have a different gift or set of gifts. If we are not using our gift then this new community we are part of has an empty place that God intended for us to fill. If we have one or more gifts may we be willing and able to use them for the good and uplifting of the gospel of Jesus Christ in helping one another.