Welcome to our BONUS POST-EASTER WEEK of Daily Devotions!
Our last devotion for this year will be this coming Saturday.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (NIV)
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
When I was a kid, my parents taught Sunday School to middle schoolers, and I wanted to be just like their cool, grown-up students. I still remember how they assigned weekly “ethics challenges,” where the students had to do something out of their comfort zone—for example, go out of their way to reach out to a classmate who needed a friend—and then report back the next Sunday. Because I wanted to be just like their students, I would try to do the ethics challenges too. Over time, the weekly challenges showed me the power of little acts to make the world a better place. This call to help others started small, and eventually snowballed into my choice of career field: education.
Not everyone is meant to be an educator, just like I definitely am not meant to be, say, a lawyer. But, as I learned when I was a kid, the beauty is that we can each find our own pathway to working towards the common good in ways both big and small. Even more than that, we have an obligation as Christians to do so. As today’s passage reminds us, God gave each of us unique gifts for a purpose. Our task, then, is to find out what those gifts are, and how to best use them—a scaled-up ethics challenge. Especially now, when we cannot all be physically together and it is so easy to retreat inward, that takes work. But through prayerful reflection and by leaning on our family and community, we are up for the challenge.
Dear God, thank you for the unique individual gifts you have given us. Help us look inward to find out what they are, and outward as we strive each day to use them to make the world a better place.