Essential Work

I have complete and total admiration for the parents who became overnight homeschool teachers when schools were closed all over the world due to the pandemic. My hat is off to you. To quote the Brits, I am gobsmacked! I can’t begin to fathom what it is like to sit at your dining room table, trying to complete your own work from home, and teach your children coursework that normally requires well-educated, highly trained professionals. My kids are grown now, but they would have been LOST. Not so much with the English, history, and social studies classes, but can we talk about math? Good Lord. Today’s math would have toppled me. I don’t think I could get past about 2nd grade math with a child. And I am being generous with myself.

Each of us has different gifts, given to us by God at our conception. I do well with words. My friend Greta is an amazing painter. Wende is a math wizard. (I would have needed her to FaceTime with my kids every day if she ever wanted to see me alive again.) Carol is a suburb musician. Everybody has something they are good at doing. We call these abilities spiritual gifts.

What are you good at doing? Do you use that ability to serve God in some way? What is your special spiritual gift?

1 Corinthians 12 (Contemporary English Version)

Now I want you to know that if you are led by God’s Spirit, you will say that Jesus is Lord, and you will never curse Jesus.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve the same Lord, and we can each do different things. Yet the same God works in all of us and helps us in everything we do.

Many of you have a gift of giving. You are the ones taking casseroles around to people who need help. Others have a listening ear and offer compassion easily. Some build, some plan, some speak, some heal. When we pool our gifts together, we make our community stronger.

The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. Some of us can speak with wisdom, while others can speak with knowledge, but these gifts come from the same Spirit. To others the Spirit has given great faith or the power to heal the sick 10 or the power to work mighty miracles. Some of us are prophets, and some of us recognize when God’s Spirit is present. Others can speak different kinds of languages, and still others can tell what these languages mean. 11 But it is the Spirit who does all this and decides which gifts to give to each of us.

The pandemic has brought a new phrase to our society. We all know what it means to be an ”essential worker.“

Did you realize that in the Body of Christ, YOU are an essential worker? We can’t do this without you.

12 The body of Christ has many different parts, just as any other body does. 13 Some of us are Jews, and others are Gentiles. Some of us are slaves, and others are free. But God’s Spirit baptized each of us and made us part of the body of Christ. Now we each drink from that same Spirit.

Take what you are good at doing and offer it in God’s service today. When we drink from that same Spirit of God, all are refreshed and renewed. God has already equipped you to employ your gift in his service. What are you waiting for? Somebody out there needs help with their math.

School’s Out for Summer by Carol Riggin

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