1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (NRSV)
Chapter 12Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. Verse 2You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Verse 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Let Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. Verse 4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; Verse 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; Verse 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. Verse 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. Verse 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, Verse 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, Verse 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. Verse 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
The riches are almost too much to take in. In previous days we heard of a new name and new beginnings, of God’s steadfast love that embraces all of creation, and now the Apostle Paul invites us to imagine the diversity of gifts the Spirit spreads abroad among all of God’s children.
Perhaps we hesitate and ask about the gift, “Do I have it? Is it really true?” Paul encourages us not to worry. That you can even say “Jesus is Lord” is a sign that you have it all. And at the center stands the most important aspect of all those gifts: all of this gift-giving has only one goal—they are for the common good of building up the community. You and I are part of God’s vast building project, as the Spirit continues to equip and activate us as the Spirit chooses—and the Spirit so chooses! So let’s acknowledge and use our gifts.
O God of Grace, by your Spirit you continue to equip us for the work of building up one another and all your creation. May we be encouraged and inspired to see your gifts at work in each one of us for the common good. Amen.