Tag Archives: Differing Gifts

Gifts Differing

Living in the Spirit
July 10, 2017

Scripture Reading: Genesis 25:19-34

Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. The children struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If it is to be this way, why do I live?’ So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her,

‘Two nations are in your womb,
   and two peoples born of you shall be divided;
one shall be stronger than the other,
   the elder shall serve the younger.’

When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. Afterwards his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. –Genesis 25: 21-26

My sister and I, while close all our lives, are very different people. I do not do money; she is a bookkeeper. She is an excellent seamstress, re-attaching a button taxes my sewing limits. She plays the piano, and while I love music and sing, I am not an instrumentalist. I love genealogy; it is no big deal to her. We need all kinds of people in the world for the world to be one. It takes a little effort to bring people differing together to maximize their gifts creating wholeness from oneness and oneness from wholeness.

Things did not start out well for Isaac’s family. It rarely does when parents pick favorites and pit them against one another. Parents and their children are like siblings as they are drawn together by common interest. My sister became a seamstress because my mother was an excellent one. They loved to sew together. I inherited my interest in genealogy from that same mother.

In families as well as within the Body of Christ and all human interactions, before we build walls with people because they have different gifts or different ways of perceiving the world, we need to take a few minutes to examine the relationship and find the source of our frustration. Open dialogue helps. Using “I” language works better than “You” language: “I don’t get what your are saying.” as opposed to “You are not making yourself clear.”

Loving one another requires us to take the time to try to understand one another.

Prayer: Lord, help us to understand one another so that we can grow together in loving all our neighbors as we love ourselves. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the new Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.

One in the Bond of Love

May 7, 2016

Scripture Reading: John 17:20-26

‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. –John 17:20-26

What does it mean to be one? Jesus uses the human body to illustrate the Body of Christ. Paul follows up on this when he speaks of many members but one body (1 Corinthians 12:20). The Book of Hebrews takes it to a longer-term reality with the cloud of many witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). The idea of Jesus praying for you and me in the first century is amazingly nurturing.

Such oneness is not sameness. As hands worked differently than feet, so may one member of the Body of Christ serve differently than another. Apparently, such diversity is not only real but essential.

Every human God created is a key ingredient in fostering the love of God as the ethos, moral nature of our world. Every time we degrade another, we postpone the fulfillment of God’s plan for us. Every time we degrade another we degrade ourselves and all our descendants.

We are one in the bond of love;
We are one in the bond of love.
We have joined our spirits with the Spirit of God;
We are one in the bond of love.  

Let us sing now, ev’ry one;
Let us feel His love begun.
Let us join our hands, that the world will know;
We are one in the bond of love.*

Prayer: Lord, enable us to see the gifts of others with whom we live and work. Help us nurture those all gifts differing. Amen.

*Of unknown origin

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights