Summary: Loyalty Sunday II - God has made all believers into the Body of Christ. Our gifts and talents are used by God ’build his cathedral’ in this world.
Last week we focused on the theme that God created each and every one of us for a purpose. The unique talents and skills, predispositions and giftedness are made so that you can glorify and honor God with your life. There is a Kingdom role that has been defined by your Creator that you are uniquely made to fill. And that role, beloved, begins by being aware that you are a child of the living God. You individually are an important element in the Kingdom of the Living God.
But there is a second dimension to the Kingdom – one that can only be fulfilled as individual believers are gathered by God into one Church or one Body. Both the example of us being built into a temple or into a Body is used in the scriptures to describe our collective role as believers. Our gifts, talents and blessings are not so that we can stand out or so that we can be famous or recognized. The purpose for which we are created is so that we, in humility, can take our place next to our brothers and sisters and be the Body of Christ. The whole becomes greater than the sum of the individual parts and is holier, more awesome, more faithful and more beautiful than any of the individuals that make it up. This is what Paul speaks to us about in the Second Lesson today. Let’s turn there and read it together. [read Romans 12:3-8 here]
One day, a Tourist visiting Italy came upon a construction site. “What are you doing?” he asked the three stone masons. “I’m cutting the stone,” answered the first. “I’m cutting the stone for 1000 lire a day,” said the second. “I’m helping to build a cathedral,” said the third. (Adapted from SermonCentral.com; Contributed by: Justin Meek from Bucket of Surprises)
There are three interesting attitudes that this little story conveys. The first workman seemed to have no sense of his ultimate purpose. He was oblivious to the grandeur that he was privileged to have a part in. His life was dull and mundane because He failed to see his role in the big picture.
Sometimes we live this way too. We get into a boring, hum-drum existence because we don’t see that God is using us to build the Kingdom. “ ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!,’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3) The writer of Ecclesiastes laments at how mundane and purposeless life seems to be. He is talking from the perspective of a person who does not understand and know about God’s grace. Everything is empty and futile – and there seems to be nothing that makes up for it - not power, prestige, popularity or pleasure.
We too fall into that rut, don’t we? Many a person wakes up one day and says to him or herself, “What in the world am I doing here? What have I done with my life? Why in the world am I in this job or in this marriage or in this church?” When we don’t understand how we fit into God’s plans – this type of despair is almost certain to happen. We become like that stone cutter that sees nothing but the rocks and tools and the sweat and the dirt. Life has no meaning because we don’t know why God has made us. We don’t see our role in the Kingdom and so we languish.