The ability to do something – something creative, something useful – that kind of ability is called a gift. It’s not something intended for personal use and benefit alone. Gifts like these are meant to be used for the benefit of others.
That’s because these gifts come from God, who has in mind not only the individual, but everyone all together.
Think now about how you might use your God-given gifts for the benefit of all the world.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
When I was a little girl, we went to a Christian family camp. We rode horses, played games, ate good food in a quaint mess hall, and swam together in the pool and in the lake. I thought I was in heaven! There were big pine trees everywhere, and I ran freely through the camp. One night we gathered around a big bonfire, held hands, and sang a song all together. “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord, we are one in the Spirit, and we pray that our unity will one day be restored. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Up out of that campfire smoke rose a great sense of unity. But then we went home. We weren’t in the real world. It’s easy to sing a camp song about working together and loving each other.
The real deal comes when we are called to love those that are difficult. Can you sing that song with friends who might have treated you badly? Do you value each member of your church or student group with that kind of oneness? It’s hard to see evidence of the rest of the world recognizing Christians for our love in this current culture. But the truth is that we are one in God’s Spirit as followers of Christ, and you are gifted uniquely for the mission of God. What if we joined our gifts together to follow God?
God, who is three in one, show me how to be unified with other Christians no matter our differences in appearance or opinion. Open my eyes to the gifts that you have given me. Point me on your path so that I can join your mission to love the world. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen
May your gifts burn like a fire,
Bringing warmth to everyone you meet.
May your gifts light the world
And reveal the goodness of God.
May your gifts today be embraced
Making you useful in God's mercy.