January 21

1 Corinthians 12:27-31a

“Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts.” vss. 29-31a

As Paul describes the Church, using the human body as a metaphor, he tells the Corinthians that together we are the Body of Christ, and individually members of it. Within that one body each one has been equipped by the Spirit for the work of ministry, but not all are called to provide the same service or have the same office. And certainly, no one person will be more important than any other–all are equal and all have a part to play. Moreover, not all will have the same gifts, and no one will have all the gifts. His point is clear and designed to put an end to the bickering that has been going on in Corinth. But Paul doesn’t stop here–he continues the conversation by saying that the Corinthians should strive for the greater gifts. All the things he’s been talking about, the roles, abilities, and talents found within the congregation are important–those gifts will enable them to conduct their ministry effectively. But there are some things that are more important! Those of us who have been around the Church for a bit know what Paul is talking about. He has described a highly functioning congregation, one that operates like a well-oiled machine. But there’s more than that to being the Church of Christ! As Paul would put, “We gotta have love!”

Thought for the Day: How is my congregation using my gifts?

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