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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

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How amazing is God's workshop of creating and maintaining our bodies and gifts. Heart rhythm and respirations to match energy output. Digestion transforming food to fuel every cell in the body. Brain sending messages to direct every body organ's function. All without our asking. Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit apportions gifts to each person and inspires their use. But all must work in concert--like a symphony--or there will be discord. What if instruments like humans had insecurities and jealousies, some refusing to play for fear of making mistakes? Drums just beating away without any notes. Bassoons sad for not sounding cheery like flutes. Trumpets miffed because they're never in the front row. Basses looking down on the insignificant piccolo.

But what beautiful harmony when people like instruments play joyfully in tune and in unison--each applauding, appreciating, and enhancing the gifts of others. May our gifts be so given for the good of the world.

Creating God, enliven our gifts and help us give them joyfully in concert with others. Amen.

E. Corinne Chilstrom
Master of Divinity , 1984

1 Corinthians 12:11-31 (NRSV)

11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14 Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.
15 If the foot would 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.
16 And if the ear would 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.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?
20 As it is, there are many members, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
22 On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
23 and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect;
24 whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member,
25 that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another.
26 If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
31 But strive for the greater gifts.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.