Sermon:
Opening illustration: There once was a carpenter who visited one of two brothers who had recently grown embittered with each other over a misunderstanding over the farm they had managed together for the past 40 years. The carpenter was in need of work; or so he said, and he asked the one brother if there was anything he might do to help him out. "Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. Thatís my neighbor. In fact, itís my younger brother! Last week there was a meadow between us. He recently took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but Iíll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence, an 8-foot fence - so I wonít need to see his place or his face anymore." The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and Iíll be able to do a job that pleases you." The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day - measuring, sawing and nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmerís eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There wasnít a fence there at all. The carpenter had fashioned a bridge... a bridge that stretched from one side of the creek to the other, handrails and all! And the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, hand outstretched, meeting them in the middle, "You are quite a fellow, you know; to build this bridge after all Iíve said and done." Then hoisting his toolbox onto his shoulder, the carpenter departed. "Iíd love to stay, but I have many more bridges to build.Ē Thatís just like the carpenter, isnít it Ė that is the carpenter from Nazareth, our Lord Jesus Christ, who would tear down the dividing walls of hostility, not just between us and God; but between us and others too? Itís just like our Lord who bridged the gap of sin with His cross, and gifted us with His love that we might love one another more like Him. Itís just like our Lord who has spoken elsewhere of how he dispensed His Spirit so as to make ďsome into prophets, some into evangelists, and some into pastors and teachers so as to prepare Godís people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, becoming mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of ChristĒ (Ephesians 4:11-12). Itís just like our Lord to remake us, to recall us to such service, to restore us to the spirit of respectfully using our God-given gifts for His agenda and not our own. Itís just like our Lord who continues to build His church today by this same Spiritís reviving through His Word.

Introduction: While we have come to accept the ministry gifts of Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers, it has not been quite so, with