The church is made up of vastly different people, with different gifts, talents, skills and personalities. We can often feel threatened or intimidated by those differences, but really, the differences should be celebrated. God is clearly a God of variety!
Romans 12 says “just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.“
The variety and difference of gifts in the body of Christ have become more and more evident over recent weeks at St Mark’s. Some of us are gifted with the paint brush, showing infinite patience and attention to detail in that job. Some of us are gifted at cleaning. Some of us are gifted at organising, at tidying, at cooking, at washing up, at making drinks, at going shopping, at gardening. The list of jobs has been endless, it seems, and there has always been someone willing and able to do that particular task at that particular time.
It is easy to feel insecure about what one cannot do or to feel that one’s gifts are insignificant in comparison to another’s. But Paul teaches that ‘Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” ‘ (1 Cor 12:14-21)
Perhaps one of the most useful lessons we are learning, therefore, is that we’re all needed, all important, all valuable but all different. Long may it be so!