Summary: Every Christian has a gift - and the Church needs all these gifts if it is going to function
Sermon: The Church is not a “one man show”
As I was thinking about the sermon for today, I was struck by the thought that the Church is not a “one man show”
God calls us to be a community – and the Church has no passengers.
As our Bishops often remind us – our baptism is a calling to ministry
– we just have to find out what our ministry IS!
No one person – not even the Vicar – has all the gifts needed to run the Church.
We need each other.
Our New Testament reading from 1 Corinthian 12 tells us that God gives us spiritual gifts
St Paul writes:
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.
5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
It is more than just “your natural abilities.
I came across a good definition of spiritual gifts from a Christian leader Bruce Bugbee, founder and president of Network Ministries, who said
“Spiritual gifts are divine abilities distributed by the Holy Spirit to every believer according to God’s design and grace for the common good of the body of Christ”
(“What You Do Best in the Body of Christ,” Bruce Bugbee, page 52).
I am sure if I asked you - if you would like to fulfil your God given ministry – you would say yes.
Yet so few of us seem to find our God given ministry
It seems to me that many Christians are like the Caterpillar.
Someone once said of the caterpillar:
"The caterpillar is the most confused creature which roams the planet, because undoubtedly stamped in his soul is the call to fly."
We want to fly – yet we still find ourselves on the ground.
Story: Did you know that Caterpillars must go through four stages before their metamorphosis into a butterfly is complete.
1. They begin as eggs.
2. Next they hatch as caterpillars.
3. Then they go through a stage where they eat, and eat, and eat some more and eventually, they become a chrysalis.
4. And then when the transformation is complete, they can finally emerge as a beautiful butterfly.
And as the book of Ecclesiastes reminds us:
"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." (Eccl 3:1)
(My thanks to Ajai Prakash for the Caterpillar story in his sermon “Discovering God’s Will )
Although we may have a longing to fly, we may not yet be ready
So how do we get ready
I think there are tow important ingredients
Ingredient No 1. Read your Bible and pray