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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Today’s Reading | 1 Corinthians 12:4–11

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. (NRSV)

This passage is the perfect piece of scripture to remind us that we are all part of the priesthood of all believers. All of creation serves a role in the kin-dom of God: serving, leading, and offering gifts are not only the tasks and abilities of the teaching and ruling elders but of everyone. Even the car mechanic serves a purpose in the kin-dom, fixing the cars that deacons and elders might drive to pay a pastoral visit. Teachers serve in the priesthood, teaching children how to explore, learn, and discover so that they can grow into individuals who can read, study, and think critically about their role in the world and better it.

All of these things come from the Spirit, the breath of God, as personal gifts to each of us. It is not ours to decide what our gifts will be, but it is our responsibility to decide how we will use them. There is room in the kin-dom of God for all, not just those deemed worthy. All gifts create the whole, and no gift is better than another gift. Each gift is as unique and as important as each creature that God has made.

When you are in a situation where you can’t see your own gifts, when you feel less important or as though your gifts aren’t as good as the gifts of others, remember this: your gifts, whatever they are, are given to you from the breath of God. They are given without asking, like grace. We did nothing to deserve these gifts, but they are given just the same—and it is our responsibility to use each of our gifts on earth to better one another and bring about God’s kin-dom on this earth.

Lord, you are the ultimate gift giver. Help us to see our gifts, so that we may use them and build them up. Remind us that we play an important part in the body of the church. Remind us that we, and our gifts, are important, because they come from you, and we should use them to glorify you. Amen.

Written by Shelley Donaldson, Senior High Youth Coordinator

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