There is a variety of gifts, but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is works all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose.
When I sit with scripture, I am very often reminded that God doesn’t enjoy sameness. Our creator God enjoys diversity and uniqueness.
Often in our history and still sometimes today, the modus operandi within our society and our faith communities is to ensure uniformity. This amounts to a black and white vision of life.
The above text speaks of a plurality of gifts. What if, instead of asking people to fit into our Church, we expand our vision for community by re-arranging ourselves so that each of us is empowered to use his / her gifts in a way that gives service to the Kingdom of God? How would our communities of faith be different?
No man is an island,
Entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
John Donne (1572-1631), the English poet, wrote the above verse in No Man is an Island.
Every person longs to be part of a community where all are recognised and invited to use their gifts and talents for ‘a greater glory’.
God gives gifts to communities. These gifts are given through people for serving others and to build up the faith of others. Gifts are not about self-advancement, but for the witness to God’s kingdom and for the mutual benefit of all.
A healthy, vital and vigorous body serves as an authentic witness to the world.
It seems to me that our greatest error could be not to value all people within our community of faith, within our Body of Christ.
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