12 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Co 12:1–11). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Fit
The best sermon I ever heard on this passage was about the diversity found in the unity of the Body of Christ. In fact, that’s probably not too bad of a summary of the entire first letter to the Corinthians. We are focusing in on family though, so let’s look at that from a family standpoint.
Families are not machines. They live, breathe, grow, and change just like living beings. I was in the hospital with a couple who had just given birth to their third son and they told us their new middle child had asked where this new little brother had come from. “The hospital”, the mom answered. The boy was satisfied with this answer and figured there was a place in the hospital where you could just go pick out new babies. But that is not how it all works. New people come into our families, even new babies, as strangers who are changed by us, and we are changed by them.
Holy Communion is a celebration of the mystery that is God’s family. God draws us together from all walks of life and makes us one. We come with all kinds of accessories, both good and bad. Paul laid out the criteria for what parts of our life were things we got from being part of Christ’s family, and which things were from outside the family that needed to be left behind. Simply put, anything that recognizes Jesus as Lord was from the family and anything that was not obedient to Christ was out.
We face the same situation every day in our own families. New children enter into our world and bring new thoughts and ideas. Later they bring friends to our table. Then there are boyfriends and girlfriends, who may become husbands and wives… and the cycle starts all over again. Over time the things that used to identify what your family stood for will change if you let them. It is one thing to stand with Joshua in the Old Testament and say “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”, but what are you actually doing to make sure the gifts your family brings to the table together are actually from God?
Reflection: Holy Communion is the sacred moment the church gathers together to celebrate being made into a family though the loving acts of Christ. What moments does your family celebrate coming together and what acts of your family do you celebrate? How do you encourage gifts of God in your family? How do you separate out the things that are not obedient to God?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
All Anger Bible Children Community Culture Disciplines Fear Fresh Expressions Funerals Generations Grace Hurt Injury Jesus Law Leadership Longevity Ministry Models Perseverance Politics Preaching Reactions Scripture Time Truth Values VBS