Spiritual Gifts

Vocations

There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

I like the word, 'vocation.' It is built upon the Latin for calling and reminds us that what we do in life, whether it is a paid career or a volunteer service around the neighborhood, is done because of what God spoke into being when he made us. We are called and we respond. I also can’t help but notice what Paul says about our vocations in 1 Corinthians 12. He says that they are related to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual gifts are given to everyone of our members. Many use them to build up the church. Humor me, let me apply Paul’s words here to the broader realm of the service we give in life, to our jobs, to our community, and to our loved ones. Both the roles that we take on (father, mother, boss, pastor) and the skills that we need to perform in those roles, are from God. They are a sacred trust. He assigns them as He wishes.

Sunday, January 24, 2016
Epiphany 3

Poignantly Paul

From the prison cell, where he is cut off from the lifeblood of Christian fellowship, Paul speaks with clarity about how church is meant to be. Ephesians 4:1-16 should be read by those nominated to church office, should be responsively chanted at church council meetings, and should be prayerfully kept in mind as we enter our fall reorganizational and vision casting gatherings.

 

In 4:2, Paul begins by establishing a guideline for Christian behavior. We are not an NFL football team, nor are we Walmart. Out goal is not to win, grow, or make a profit. We are to be the church, which means in every instance to be humble with each other, loving, gentle, striving always for unity and peace. I know of youth group leaders and conflict management consultants who begin their gatherings with putting a set of behavior agreements up on the board. It may be useful to rework this scripture into a statement of behavior that we will hold ourselves to in church leadership.

 

Sunday, August 2, 2015
Pentecost 13

Do you have everything that you need?

I have a check list of ‘Things to Pack’ on my iPhone for when I go on trips. Too often, I’ve boarded a plane to realize that I didn’t have something essential, like my speaking notes, my charger for my phone, or any spare underwear. Being equipped is an important part of being successful. Paul writes to the church at Corinth and tells them that they have been fully equipped by God. They have everything that they need (check it out in 1 Corinthians 1:5 & 7). Now, having said that, I’m not going to list any exceptions or buts. The church and the faithful must hear that they already have what they need to be successful.

    This passage connects with Epiphany’s overall message of our being called, or given a vocation, from God. I believe this true on three levels; 1) that God has a life-plan for each of us and gives us exactly what we each need to live by faith 2)that every Christian has spiritual gifts and a spiritually enabled vocation, 3) That every congregation has a calling. The leadership you have and the resources the church currently own are related to what God wants to do with you. It’s time to stop blaming God for making us the way that we are.

Sunday, January 19, 2014
Epiphany 2
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