Spiritual Gifts and the World’s Deep Needs

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office

Psalm 131, 132, [133] (Morning)
Psalm 134, 135 (Evening)
2 Kings 23:4-24
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Matthew 9:18-26

Spiritual Gifts and the World’s Deep Needs

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.

Ever since I moved to Fayetteville and started attending St. Paul’s I have been struck by the many and varied ways in which parishioners seek out unmet needs in our parish and the wider community and then, with help from the rector and fellow parishioners, organize a program or activity to meet that need. Lowell will be the first to say that he did not start this tradition, but he has certainly helped make it a defining characteristic of St. Paul’s. You can probably name as many of these “startups” as I can, or more. They are part of the fabric that holds us together.

In today’s Epistle reading, St. Paul is taking to task the bickering body of believers in Corinth, a group that seems to reflect the city’s ethnic, intellectual, and economic tensions. He urges them to accept each other as equals in Christ and as persons who have received different gifts, all of them “the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

Like the Corinthians, we are called by the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit to use our gifts in meeting “the world’s deep needs,” as Frederick Buechner put it. Both St. Paul and St. Paul’s invite us to listen for that voice.

Written by Bob McMath

Linda and Bob moved to Fayetteville and joined St. Paul’s in 2005. They enjoy singing in the choir and serving/washing dishes at Community Meals. Bob also serves as a lector and Eucharistic minister, mainly at the 11:00 service.

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