Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 3b-13
Verse Seven: Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
Imagine the top graduate from culinary school deciding she wanted to go be a bank teller. Imagine the college graduate with a degree in electrical engineering deciding he wanted to go mow lawns. Imagine the gifted accountant deciding she did not want to be on the Finance team because they meet the night she likes to go to the grocery store. Imagine the Dad that is awesome with middle School boys deciding he would rather join the golf league on Wednesday nights.
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good”. The Spirit gives each of us gifts (or talents). Verses eight through ten lists off some of these gifts: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, tongues… Verse eleven reads, “to each one”. It does not say gifts are only given to some people, but to all people. When one looks out over a congregation, one realizes that there is a very gifted bunch of folks sitting there. As we each move through life, most of us come to know what our gift is. Sometimes it is our passion that leads us to our gift and sometimes we ‘Didn’t our gift by trial and error.
Throughout it’s 2000+ year history, the church has been built by the gifts of millions of people. Some are famous – Paul, Peter, Martin Luther, John Wesley… – but most are just common people, being used by God. This is where most of us fit in. We do not have extraordinary gifts, we are just good at and passionate about something. Paul writes in our passage about the church being one body with many parts. That is my church. It is probably your church too. Those gifted musicians make up a pretty good choir or praise team. Those gifted leaders and teachers are running a pretty good VBS. That gifted group of gardeners has the church flowers and plants looking nice again. That collection of carpenters and handimen and business owners we call the Trustees sure did a great job on the remodel.
Verse seven ends with: “for the common good”. It’s what it is all about. For the good of each other, for the good of the church, for the good of the community, for the good of our lost and broken world. May we all joyously share the gifts we have been blessed with for the common good.