Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Key verse: (7) To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
Reflection: We are living in tumultuous times. Many of us are living with a great deal of anxiety and fear. The corona virus, the stock market, the presidential election – nothing seems calm right now.
When we find ourselves in this kind of situation, it’s tempting to focus on ourselves and our own families. That might mean we hoard supplies, buying up more toilet paper or hand sanitizer than we need. That might mean we worry only about our personal investment portfolio and not about our neighbors who have lost their entire income stream. That might mean we take the call to provide social distance as an excuse to retreat into our own little world and not interact with others.
Paul wrote letters to the Christians in the city of Corinth because they were dealing with anxious conflicted times. They worried about who was most important and they judged others for being less worthy. Their own insecurities led them to be judgmental and selfish. They were tempted to focus on themselves.
In that tumultuous situation, Paul wrote about their gifts. He reminded them that each one has been given gifts by the Spirit that are intended to be used for the common good. Unlike birthday gifts or Christmas gifts, spiritual gifts aren’t intended for the enjoyment of the recipient. The Spirit gives us gifts to share with one another. The Spirit enables us to serve our neighbors. The Spirit connects us into one Body of Christ. Even if we are alone at home, we aren’t spiritually alone. We can make phone calls. We can make a donation. We can write a note. We have gifts to share.
Prayer: O God, show me how to share my gifts during this time. Give me tangible things to do to love my neighbors. When I tempted by selfishness, remind me of your abundant grace that enables me to be part of a faith family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].