|The Tooth Fairy and Genie at AIDS Walk 2012|
(This post is inspired Pastor Robyn Hartwig‘s sermon today. Thank you, Robyn!)
1 Corinthians 12:4 “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.”
If you had a super power, what would it be? I would love to be a super athlete. Or possibly to be able to teleport. What about you?
In today’s second lesson (1 Corinthians 12:1-11), Paul is talking to the church in Corinth about how not everyone has the same gifts. This is a good thing. I am good at some things, but if I get caught in the trap of comparing myself to others, I have definite gaps. Let me give you a couple of examples… I am a clutz. I am directionally impaired. I stress out cooking for more than just myself. If God needed me to be a graceful, geographically-awesome, gourmet chef, then I wouldn’t be any use.
But no! God has created a diverse world in which we have so many different kinds of people, and so many varieties of gifts. What I find amazing is that God can use my wacky sense of humor, my willingness to wear crazy costumes and my joy in riding my bicycle, all to make the world a better place. What a gift it has been to find a place where I can make a difference through the gifts that make me unique.
Frederick Buechner describes this as vocation. “Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” I won’t lie, sometimes it takes some searching to discover our gifts and where they are most needed. Sometimes we go down one path only to find out that it is not quite the right fit (speaking from experience). But that does not negate the fact that each one of us has unique gifts to bring to the world, and that each of us is needed.
We do already have super powers. I’ve met many of you and see them in you: the gift for building community, the talent for making others laugh, the capacity for caring, the gift of critical thinking, the ability to navigate emotional conversations, to inspire, to organize, gifts for public speaking, for generosity and for loyalty. You are musicians, dancers, artists, and athletes. And that’s just a start of the list of the gifts I see in you.
So here’s the deal. You are loved. You are needed. You bring something special to the table. Just the way you are.
Creative God, You made us each so different! Thank you for making us unique, but loving us all with the same unconditional love. Help us to know we are loved. Inspire us to share this love with others. Help us to know we are needed. Show us how our individual gifts enable us to respond to the world’s needs. Remind us every day that we matter. Thanks, and Amen.