Romans 12:1-8 (NRSV)
Chapter 12I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Verse 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of Godwhat is good and acceptable and perfect. Verse 3For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Verse 4For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, Verse 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. Verse 6We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; Verse 7ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; Verse 8the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
Paul’s question to the Romans is: “Now that we are followers of Christ, how then shall we live? Paul is calling us to present our whole selves—body, heart, and mind—to living out our lives expressed as faith in action.
Faith formation does not just happen in Sunday School, confirmation instruction, or Bible study. Faith formation is a continual process, an experiential process of living out your faith daily through the way you use the spiritual gifts you have been given at your baptism. I’m thankful we all have different gifts, because we don’t need only preachers, only musicians, only mechanics, only organizers, only workers, only etc. The community that is the body of Christ needs each and every one of us, working together through faith, discerning together God’s will for us as we seek to live faithfully into God’s future.
Boldly live out your gifts, Paul says. Boldly live out your faith by the grace you have been given. Boldly and humbly serve others out of love as Christ has boldly loved you.
Merciful God, we thank you for the undeserved grace you have shown to us. Fill us with your Spirit to boldly live out our faith. Amen.