Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Call and Commission of the Disciples


Jerryl Abraham
St. John's MTC, NY
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Paul wrote his letters to the Corinthians in order resolve issues of conduct within the Christian church. The primary issue in the church was the rise of factions in the church. Certain individuals provided Paul with information about the divisions that arose in the church. Immorality had unfortunately defined the church of Corinth since its inception. 

Paul’s success as an apostle of Christ came from his swift response to such issues in the early church. The letters to the church of Corinth reveals Paul’s pastoral heart. Paul’s greatest issue was promoting unity in a church that was largely self-centered. Paul uses a beautiful metaphor by comparing the church to a physical body. In doing so Paul both paints a picture of what the church should be but also puts into perspective the role that the individual plays in the Church of Christ. 

No two parts of the human body function in the same way. However it is understood that the varying functions unify to one goal: to promote life. In the same way, Christ’s followers are not of the same calling and are not gifted in similar ways. Paul reminds us that these gifts are not of our own merit or will but have been gifted to us from the Father out his abundant mercy. Paul exhorts us to not only resolve our disputes but to accept our differences and use them for the glory of God. 

We live in a country of privilege and entitlement. Capitalism dictates that what you have is a product of your hard work and has come about because of your own merit. Your “gifts” cannot be called so because they have not been gifted to you. Rather you are entitled to what you have and you alone deserve to enjoy the benefits of everything you have. As followers of Christ we have been called upon to use our talents to work for the kingdom of God. Others should see God’s love and glory through the gifts he has given us. This portion calls us to turn from our selfish ways and instead glorify God through the different gifts and abilities he has given us. This lifestyle is best summarized in the Prayer of St. Francis who lived his life for the glory of God and the growth of his kingdom by hearing God’s call to use the gifts that were given to him out of mercy.


PRAYER


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; 
to be understood as to understand; 
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
As followers of Christ we have been called upon to use our talents to work for the kingdom of God.