Bible Break for 2 April 2013.
There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; and there are different ministries and the same Lord; and there are different activities but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good. A word of wisdom is given by the Spirit to one person, a word of knowledge to another according to the same Spirit, faith to still another by the same Spirit, gifts of healing to another in the one Spirit, performance of miracles to another, prophecy to another, the ability to tell spirits apart to another, different kinds of tongues to another, and the interpretation of the tongues to another. All these things are produced by the one and same Spirit who gives what he wants to each person.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Sometimes my prayers are not really very different from a kid’s letter to Santa. I want, I need, gifts, and a magical bearded man far away can get them for me. Even if I grew up to a “grown-up” theology of what God is like–no longer that old bearded white man–sometimes my relationship is still a bit too much, “I’ve been a good boy; I’d really like this important thing.” Of course I think what I want is important! It may even be! That’s why I want it.
But here Paul is reminding us that we already have been given gifts. Spiritual gifts. And there are two things that are really important to understand about spiritual gifts: first, that you have been given some, and second, so has everyone else.
They don’t look the same. To some is given knowledge, or healing, or prophecy, or language, or faith. In our churches, some can talk eloquently. Some can cook . Some can sing. Some can fix the plumbing. Some can stay calm in a church nursery. Some can stay strong holding a dying person’s hand. Our gifts are different. And that’s okay. Because you aren’t just depending on your gifts.
Paul tells us that spiritual gifts are “given to each person for the common good.” We should keep praying, of course, but it’s not always to beg God for more gifts. Sitting in the church is like a party where everyone is opening presents and everyone promises to share. I’m not the best singer, for example. Someone else has that gift, but when she sings in church, thank God, I have been given a gift too for a while.
God of gifts, bless me to see what you have given me. Bless me to share it. To share it all for the common good. Amen.
About Bible Breaks
Every day millions of Christians across the world in lots of different kinds of churches guide their Bible study by using a reading schedule called the “Revised Common Lectionary.” (Today’s readings are helpfully online on the Presbyterian Church USA’s website.) Each day (well, that’s the goal), I read the passages and choose one or two verses, make a small message about and prayer about them, and share it all online! This is to help you with your Bible study, and to help me with mine! And please, share on Facebook or Twitter if this message has helped you out today!
About Pastor Jean-Daniel
Pastor Jean-Daniel Williams is the young adult minister at St. James United Church in Montréal, and he is a PhD student at the Université de Montréal, where he specialises how we can use what we know about child and adolescent psychology to make churches better for kids and help them grow in faith and Christian living. He is married with two children.