taking something natural and doing something supernatural with it, taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary. The lectionary writers interestingly pair this story with Paul’s discourse on Spiritual Gifts from 1 Corinthians 12.
The thread connecting the two readings becomes obvious: Jesus takes what is ordinary and natural in our lives, such as our natural talents and abilities, and supernaturally makes them extraordinarily useful to Him and for the furthering of His Kingdom. Such is the nature of the Gifts of the Spirit, This is how we can understand the way God equips us to do the ministry to which He calls us.
Our relatively young church family has grown because this dynamic of God gifting people to do the ministry they are called to do. People have caught hold of what the Lord is doing in this place, discerned how the Lord is calling them to be a part it, and allowed God to empower them with the Spiritual Gifts needed to live into the calling.
This relates wonderfully to what we are learning on Wednesday nights. “Experiencing God” study series is teaching us to look for where God is working, listen for His invitation to work with Him, and then allow God to work through us in the accomplishing of His purposes. Wednesday nights are also teaching us that, when God calls us to do for others or be something to others, the calling has what Henry Blackaby calls “a God-size dimension.” The calling, the task, the ministry, whatever it is, is something we cannot do, as God intends for it to be done, without Him gifting us with the ability to do it. We are totally dependent on God for the ability to do what He Has called us to do.
This gifting for ministry has its source in our ongoing and intimate relationship with God’s through His indwelling Holy Spirit. Again, Blackerby in “Experiencing God” makes the very wonderful point that the real gift is the gift of the Holy Spirit who takes up residence in us and works in the world through us.
So then, what do we do? Again turning to our Wednesday night study, Blackerby tells us that we are to open ourselves to the possibility of God working in us and through us for the sake of the world around us. We are to invite God to “gift” us with the ability to live into His purpose and calling for our lives.
A prayer for you…. Come, O Lord, and fill us your servant to overflowing with your Holy Spirit. Grant the spiritual gifts and empowerment for the ministry to which you have called us. Equip us to take our place in the Body of Christ to which you have placed us. May to you be the glory. May your Kingdom grow firmly in us. May your Kingdom grow in the world through us. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.