Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Thursday prior to Epiphany 2

1 Corinthians 12:1-11The Spirit transforms from “Jesus be cursed” to “Jesus is Lord.”

Can we be different and yet one? The church has always been threatened with divisions. It happened in the 1st Century; it happens today in the 21st Century. To have peace and unity, must all church members agree and be alike? According to the text, the church is unique in that she can have unity with diversity. This unity is the same Spirit in all, but there is a variety of gifts from the one Spirit. As long as there is one good, sweet spirit in a congregation, it is a blessing for the church to have a diversity of gifts.

Note this will be the first of a series of readings from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians congregation. In this particular reading Paul is emphasizing the gifts of the Spirit. Important to remember as you read this lesson is that Paul is making it very clear that the spiritual gifts are not at all in contrast to what we could call “material gifts or “intellectual gifts.” The gifts of the Spirit, indeed, are part and parcel of the whole of life, enriching and supporting life as a total entity. The Spiritual, intellectual, and material are not separable, each of us is one being in whom these various aspects of life show forth through the Spirit’s particular gifts to us.

The apostle begins by reminding the Corinthians that the main work of the Holy Spirit is to lead people to faith in Jesus. This is the Spirit’s greatest gift to men.

In addition to faith, the Lord has given the Corinthians a variety of other spiritual gifts. It is also significant that these gifts had not been given only to a select few in the congregation who would then be in a privileged class. Instead, Paul states that every Christian had received gifts from the Holy Spirit to manifest His presence in their lives. (v.7) Note also that these gifts to be used for the common good were not solely for one’s personal enjoyment and edification.

A prayer for steadfast faith–Almighty God, our heavenly Father, of Your tender love towards us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him, we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and come to life everlasting. 2 - 13 January 2022

[1] Wedding at Cana, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

[2] Collect for a steadfast faith. Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis 

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