“4There 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.” 1 Corinthians 12: 4-6 (NIV)
Back in the spring, Teresa and her sister decided it would be fun to take a bus trip through the Maritimes. Now this was not just any old bus trip, this was a bus trip that catered to QUILTERS, and it would be in late September when the fall colours were just beginning.
As most of you know, my summer was rather busy with pipe band activities that took me to Halifax and Edinburgh. I was gone for more than eight weeks. As I pen this note, Teresa has been gone for eight days and I miss her deeply. She will be home soon and, counting as my inner child, it will be in one more sleep!
While she’s been gone, I have filled my days with preparing the gardens for winter and tidying up the property. In the evenings it was teaching, personal practice time and working on some musical arrangements that have been idle for a while. But there were still many an empty moment. In these times, I would simply close my eyes and ask God to help me think. I would often think about Grace Church: where we’ve been; where we are; and where we might go. Then I’d start to consider the things that could be done to get us there. I am a planner and can usually visualise the steps needed to navigate through a problem to a solution. I suspect that having spent over four decades soldiering that this is pretty well been ingrained into my psyche. I don’t know if it is a gift or a skill, but it is something I can do.
“12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” -- “27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[d]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.” 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14; 27-31 (NIV)
Our congregation has gone through some tumultuous times during the past few years. It has not been easy and it has taken its toll. The body has suffered greatly, but with proper care and treatment, the body that was once a strong and shining specimen can be so again. If there has been any time in the history of our congregation where there is a need for involvement by all parts of the body, it is now. We have faced the worst of the raging sea and while the storm is likely to blow for a while yet, I can see the sun pressing against the clouds. This is not the time to let others carry the load. We need everyone working together to fulfil God’s purpose for his universal church and for Grace Church in particular.
As Paul tells us, we are each a part of the body of Christ, and we are all critical to the proper functioning of the body. There are no useless or unnecessary parts; all parts need to do their bit or the whole body will suffer. I suspect that I might fit somewhere into the thinking and planning part, but I am also happy to get my hands dirty. This I will continue to do. What about you? What part might you be? What role might you take on?
If you’re not sure, start by taking on the role of hands and feet and God will guide you to where he wants you.