Pastor John's Daily Briefing - 4/24/2020

Pastor John's Daily Briefing - 4/24/2020

Sisters and Brothers in faith, Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.


We are well into a time of grand adjustment and adaptation, a time when our routines are upended and our focus may become stressed. This change has affected us greatly. Mandates of safe practices have physically separated us; work and play have taken on a new look. "Virtual' has taken on new meaning. For many, attention is directed to "when," when will things return to normal?, when will be able to move beyond the precipitous danger of this virus?, when will be able to resume our lives with some order and certainty? For sure, much remains unanswerable.


But as children of God, people of faith, we are directed to understand that all life and all circumstances that we find ourselves in are ultimately in the care of God in Christ Jesus, even as we are not able to definitively give adequate response to all our "when's". But, as the Apostle Paul assures us, it is the one Lord who holds us together and provides for and within us the spiritual gifts that enable us to continue to serve God and one another, even in our times of significant change and unwavering questioning. Paul writes from 1 Corinthians 12: :Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone." 


Please note that God gives gifts to each and every one of us; none of us are void of the gifts God gives for the practice of living. In so doing, God understands that by virtue of these gifts, we are all in this together. Paul adds, "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." None of us are exempt from the Spirit's presence and work within us. None of us contain all the spiritual gifts, but all of contain some. 


The list of spiritual gifts that Paul provides in 1 Corinthians 12 is not exhaustive, but it provides some examples that may help us to find direction in the discernment and practice of our gifts, direction and discernment that takes place within the body of Christ. Remember that each and every one of us possess spiritual gifts to serve God and one another for the common good. Examples of these gifts as recorded in 1 Corinthians include the sharing of wisdom and knowledge, engaging in healing and other works of miracles, speaking prophetic truth and communicating God's will. But the list is longer and broader than these examples so indicated.


The important thing to note is the presence and activity of the Spirit of Christ that enables and empowers each of us to carry forth the ministry and mission as one unified body that was initiated in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus; we are many but of one body and one hope. Paul's counsel for us is "that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it."


Even in our time of separation and social distancing, we can still use the spiritual gifts we have been given to serve as one body the promise and glory of God in Christ Jesus. Amen.  Pastor John