God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.
(1 Corinthians 12:4-6 MSG)
This passage from Paul, in fact the whole of the 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians, has always been a source of reflection for me. This particular version from The Message really hits home—all our gifts, our ministries and our power come from God. Every person receives them and every person is blessed by them.
A couple of years ago I met Richard Straub. He is a member of the Orion UMC and last year I got to hear him speak of his current ministry. After retiring from teaching God opened a new ministry and granted new gifts for foreign missions. He is currently the chairperson of the Africa University Committee for our annual conference. He has made two trips to Liberia and two to Zimbabwe to serve God through relationships and providing help to those who have limited resources who are educating new generations. He also has a heart for caring ministries on the continent of Africa, especially for orphans.
Another person I know has also been called to new ministry in foreign missions. Her name is Lisa Nordstrom and she will be here in November to share about our conference’s work in Honduras.
God always has something for us to do. It often changes through our life time as it did for Richard and Lisa. Our abilities change. Our schedules change. Our neighbors’ needs change. Our hearts are touched and changed. All this is to say, God grants the gifts, the ministry and the power to do whatever God has called you to do for this day.
Some are called to visit. Some are called to teach Sunday school. Some are called to write notes and send cards. Some are called to give hospitality in their homes, churches and through caring ministries like the Food Pantry or a shelter home. Some are called to join choirs, serve on committees, to provide leadership to special groups or to give generously to missions at home and far afield.
All of us are called to share our faith through our actions every moment of every day. All of us are called to know scripture and to pray. All are called to worship the One God who has given us everything and loves us beyond our understanding.
As our schedules turn with the change in seasons, be praying about the ministries God has gifted you to provide. Come to worship over the next month to be challenged by God’s Word through which we learn we are Chosen for a Purpose. Step forth in faith that the power to accomplish more than we can imagine will come from God to help you carry through. God has plans for us as individuals, as church congregations, as a parish and as the full body of Christ. Go forth in faith, love and commitment to answer God’s call on your life.