A Moment for Mission
“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” — 1 Corinthians 12:7, NRSV
Almost 50 years ago, composer Al Carmines wrote a hymn that quickly grew in popularity across United Methodist congregations.
“Many Gifts, One Spirit” (United Methodist Hymnal #114) reminds us to work in partnership, sharing our unique spiritual gifts for the common good.
In 1 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul reminded the young church, “There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord, and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good.”
Imagine how crazy life would be if we all were equally gifted! Thank God, we are not all preachers, teachers, healers, miracle workers or prophets. As Carmines said, “In our difference is blessing, from diversity we praise one Giver, one Lord, one Spirit, one Word known in many ways.”
Today, on the Sunday before the birthday observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., we celebrate Human Relations Day. Our special offering assists partnerships through the Community Developers Program, the United Methodist Voluntary Services Program and the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program.
Human Relations Day is a perfect opportunity to celebrate our gifts and to nurture the talents of our family in faith. Every gift is important, and every gift makes a difference.
What are your talents? Sports? Music? Solving tough math problems? How do you use those gifts to share Jesus’ love?
Paul, one of Jesus’s followers, wrote about sharing our talents to serve Jesus.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had a gift for preaching. He used his words to change hearts and minds. He organized people to change laws that were unfair to Black people in the United States. He wanted all people to be treated equally and to experience freedom.
Every child has a gift from God to serve God’s people. As Rev. King said, each of us has “a heart full of grace [and] a soul generated by love.”
Today we honor Rev. King by sharing through the special Human Relations Day offering.
Loving God, thank you for making each of us unique. Help us to recognize how our talents, blended with the gifts of others, can enrich your world. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Second Sunday after the Epiphany — Generous God, we are reminded through scripture of the spiritual gifts that you give. We know that these are not for us to hold onto but are gifts for us to share – gifts from you meant for giving. As we offer our tithes and offerings, prompt us to commit more than dollars, but to see the gifts you have written on our hearts and to share generously of these as well! We pray these words in the name of Jesus, in whose way we follow, for whose love we are eternally grateful. Amen. (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)
What is your gift? Baking tasty treats? Creating beautiful things? Figuring tough math problems? Making people feel loved and appreciated? Welcoming strangers?
Today – on Human Relations Day – we thank God for our varieties of gifts. We can’t all be bakers, artists or math geniuses. But each of us can move out of our comfort zone and reach out to the forgotten, the unloved, the vulnerable.
Through Community Developers, United Methodist Voluntary Services and Youth Offender Rehabilitation ministries, supported by the Human Relations Day offering, we share our financial gifts.
Now, perhaps more than ever, God calls us to extend healing and hope that can guide us to becoming new creations in Christ. Through our gifts and support, we partner with God and God’s people to strengthen Christ’s loving presence in a hurting world.
Human Relations Day offers a perfect opportunity to celebrate our special gifts and to find new ways to serve God.
Please give generously! Thank you.