Summary: EPIPHANY 3, YEAR C - Everyone has a place in God’s church and a gift to share with one another.

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Since coming to New Hartford Rosemary and I have had the pleasure of visiting many of your homes. In fact just last week a couple from church invited us over to their home for dinner Sunday evening. As a part of that invitation I was told to tell Rosemary that we were to bring our bathing suits so that after dinner we could all soak in their hot tub. Of course I remembered to tell Rosemary about the hot tub after we had already arrived at the Jones. Too late to turn around and go back now. I told them that it had just slipped my mind. When if the truth is to be told, I know what I look like in a bathing suit and it’s not a pretty sight. Are you dissatisfied with how you look? Welcome to the club. We all live in a society that is fixated on appearance. There are diet plans galore for those who feel that they are over weight. There are exercise programs and machines for those who wish to tone or buff up. There is even plastic surgery for those not satisfied with the face God gave them. Things have gotten so bad in our country that instead of teenagers asking that 60’s question “who am I?,” now they are asking, “who do I want look like?” A few years ago this obsession was picked up in a Mondona video hit song called “The Vogue.” Named after the Vogue magazine’s super model runway renditions. (Do a little model walking)

As you can see I don’t stack up to today’s supermodels. And that’s the problem isn’t it?

Not many of us do stack up to super models. The Models don’t look like us. The actors don’t look like us. Next to people such as that most people feel inferior. And this sense of inadequacy can spill over even into the church. Some of you may look at me and say, “I wish I could stand up in front of people and talk like pastor Greg.” Or you might be like me and upon listening to Halyna’s playing say, I wish I could play like that.” We can all feel at times inadequate when comparing ourselves to those around us. We may all wonder at times, “what do I have to offer God’s church that would compeer to those around me?” But then this is not a new problem for the church. This comparison between one Christian and the next is exactly the problem Paul was facing with the Corinthians. In the church at Corinth there were those who saw themselves as spiritually superior to others because of the spiritual gifts they possessed. And on the other hand, there were those who looked down upon themselves and others because they lacked those spiritual gifts seen as the top

of the line. In the church at Corinth there were the super saints and the not-so-super saints. And this distinction was causing havoc. For this reason in addressing the Corinthians Paul writes,

"For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose."

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