January 11, 2010

Looking Ahead to January 17, 2010 -- 2nd Sunday After Epiphany

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Psalm 36 (VU p.762)
  • From the Letters of the Church: 1 Corinthians 12:4-31

The Hymns this week are:
  • #402 We Are One
  • #606 In Christ there is No East or West
  • #382 Breathe on Me, Breath of God
  • #264 Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise

The Sermon title is Gifted

Early Thoughts: What are your gifts? Do we really accept that all gifts have equal value?

As far as we can tell the church in Corinth was a troubled community. And many of their troubles seem to have included some dissension about who was "more important" than others. Here Paul is responding to claims that some people have more important spiritual gifts than others. In a faith community this is nothing less than a claim that some people have more to offer the community than others.

Paul is having nothing to do with this. PAul is very clear that all the gifts come from the same Source. Paul is equally clear that all parts of the body are needed for the body to be healthy.

THere are two possible ways to go with this passage. THey are shown in the two questions listed above. How good are we at identifying the gifts we have to offer to GOd's world? HOw do we help each other name and claim those gifts? Doing this is a part of our call to live in community. Doing this is how we maintain the health of our community and move it into the future. OTOH, once we recognie and name the gifts that are around us, do we honestly act as if they are all important and valid and needed?

Upon further reflection, both questions are pretty closely linked. If we don't believe (and act as if we believe) that all the gifts are important then where is the incentive to find our gifts -- great if they are considered "valuable" not so great if it isn't. And one other thing to remember. We don't identify gifts to serve teh church, we indentitfy gifts to serve teh world. Because, in the end, serving the world is what the church is supposed to be bout.

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