Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

One of today’s readings is an awesome chunk of Paul’s letter to the Church in Rome. Here’s part of it:

For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. (Romans 12:4-8, NRSV)

What’s really interesting to me about these few sentences is how one gift is not put over another. Generosity is not more important than teaching or exhortation, but they all come together to form the one body of Christ. See, God created us all a little differently so that we would need each other. (If you don’t believe me, try scratching your own back sometime!)

The picture above is part of a quilt made for me when I left at St John’s Lutheran Church. Notice that, although each has a different shape, size, and color, they all come together to form one complete project. So it is with the body of Christ. We may all have a different shape, size, color, age, gender identity, income, passions, or gifts, but we are part of something bigger than ourselves. And all of us, with all our gifts, quirks, and differences, can be the presence of Christ in a hurting world.

So share your gifts – even if it’s just to scratch someone’s back.

Creating God, you cherish diversity, and yet sometimes we use differences to divide us. Knit all your children together as the body of Christ, so that the whole world might see the beauty found in our diversity.  Amen.

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