Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 14, 2019
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27
Even though you and I do not know each other, with complete confidence I can say to you: you have gifts to offer for the good of the whole body of Christ! Though our culture prioritizes the skills, money, and beauty of an elite few, within the life of the church you and I are meant to be reoriented to what is actually true and eternal. Church is meant to be a taste of heaven, a place where we step out of the chaos and confusion of the world around us and remember afresh what is ultimately good and true.
Have you ever visited a great Gothic cathedral? These buildings, in their very bones, were meant to draw your eyes heavenward, to feel as though you’ve just entered into another realm, another dimension. And while this may sound and feel a bit airy and abstract, this vision is also profoundly practical for how we live day by day!
The “taste of heaven” that these churches remind us of is a world in which the whole of creation – every nation, every tribe – is living in perfect relationship with God as our creator and sustainer. This means that right here, right now, you have gifts to offer to the body that makes us more of who we are meant to be, a truer reflection of the church as it is meant to be.
Paul uses the image of a body to drive this point home. He is mindful of our temptation to prioritize parts of the body over and against the others. We decide the eye is more important than the hand, ears more than the nose. Perhaps, using his list of gifts within the church, we decide prophets and teachers are more significant and valuable than gifts of healing or tongues. To undercut this sizing up of gifts, Paul reminds them (and us) of a powerful truth: whatever you do for God is always secondary to the fact that you are loved by him and belong to Christ.
Do you believe this? Are you comfortable in your own skin? Are you able to be at peace with the gifts God has given you that only you have to offer? Can you celebrate and cultivate those gifts rather than thinking about what you wish you had that you don’t have?
You and I belong to one another, and you belong here. We must be able to celebrate the gifts God has given to others, while at the same time boldly embracing and cultivating the unique people he has made us to be!
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”(1 Peter 4:10).
Father, thank you that you love and welcome us into your family, giving us a seat at the table and a role in your great redemptive mission. Amen.
How can you more faithfully celebrate and cultivate the unique gifts God has given to you?
Church is meant to be a taste of heaven, a place where we step out of the chaos and confusion of the world. #WisdomHunters #church #Jesus
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