One Body, Many Parts
One of the greatest joys of serving as your pastor is hearing how God has revealed Himself in your lives. Just this Thursday, I met with a Covenant Partner of our congregation to whom God revealed himself in unmistakable ways – clarifying his calling on this member's life.
To be honest, I wasn't sure how to answer.
Though it may surprise you to hear me say so, I don't always think about my work in terms of calling, but rather, in terms of what needs to get done. And yet, gifting is central to the writings of the New Testament!
Paul writes in 1st Corinthians 12:4-7,
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
Which means everyone has a gift.
This is obvious in so many aspects of our congregational life. But, perhaps, no more so than during VBS week!
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body - whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
It's common to think this passage is about everyone being included. And that's true.
But it's more than that.
This passage isn't just about everyone being included, but everyone being included in the mission of the church!
And ears hear.
They're each a part of the action despite having different roles.
VBS week is one of the most obvious examples of how Good Shepherd has been gifted with so many faithful servants who minister in so many wonderful ways. From music to storytelling to recreation to crafts to science to snacks (my personal favorite!), Vacation Bible School week reveals how many loving and gifted servants God has blessed Good Shepherd with!
Indeed, the body has many parts. And I'm so grateful that "God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be."
Now I'll turn the question to you: "What do you feel God has gifted you to do?"