4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
Have you ever wondered about the gifts you have been given by God? Have you ever wondered if God has actually given you a gift of significance? Have you ever wished you had someone else’s gifts?
I have been in Bible Studies and Youth Group meetings where we are asked to go around the table and share what we think the gifts are that God has given us. Often people squirm a little in their chairs when a question like this is asked. First, it’s hard for many to talk about themselves in a positive light. Second, many don’t think that the gifts they have are of significant enough, and third, some just struggle to see their gifts.
The reading from 1 Corinthians about spiritual gifts reminds me of the new Disney Movie, Encanto. Without spoiling anything that isn’t revealed in the first musical numbers, Encanto is about the Madrigal family who lives in a magical house in Columbia. The magical house gives amazing gifts to the members of the family. Some have super strength, some can control the weather, one can even heal broken bones with food that they make.
One thing that I love about this movie is how the family uses their gifts. They don’t use them to just benefit themselves or only to benefit their family. They share their gifts that they have been given with the entire town. They go outside of their houses to help their neighbors. During times of celebrations, the whole town is invited into their Madrigal House, and they celebrate together. It’s a beautiful image that is not too different from what the Apostle Paul is writing about to the church of Corinth regarding spiritual gifts. It's as if he is saying you all have different gifts. These gifts that are given by God are not to benefit just you or just your church, but these gifts that are to benefit the whole community. These gifts that are given for the community for the common good.
This week I would like to challenge you to think about the gifts you have been given. I would also like you to think about the gifts we have in our church that make us unique. Then after exploring those gifts, reflect on how your gifts and the church’s gifts are being used.
I wholeheartedly believe that everyone has gifts from God. My prayer for you this week is that you are able to see those gifts in yourself. May we celebrate and live in gratitude for how God has created us and find ways to share our gifts. Amen.