Different gits

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

Last week in this same chapter, Paul was speaking of different gifts in the church. In ancient arguments or proofs on something you didn't just let it go in a linear motion toward the goal of your conclusion. Instead you would revisit the point again and again making it over and over, like a circle or spring ever spiraling outward to the end.

Paul spoke of the variety of gifts and that they all come from God. He listed the gifts separately saying that no one gift is more important than another. This week he tells us the same thing by using the symbol of the body. All the gifts are connected together for the benefit of the whole. The things on the body that are most hidden and private are the ones we treat with more care and the ones we think we could survive without we find we can't. You don't want to cut off your own arm.

So as I was thinking about the interconnectedness of the gifts people have and the conversation we had as a vestry about how some people may not feel they have any gifts, a gift fell in my lap. Friday the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry gave a sermon at Trinity Wall Street. There was a story in it about Thurgood Marshall's granny. Now the Presiding Bishop was making a whole different point with this, I think this translates well into how some of us look at whether or not we have a gift though.

The Marshall family moved into an all white neighborhood. Most of the neighbors were alright, maybe not happy but didn't give the family any trouble. The lady right next door was not delighted with her new neighbors and decided to show them this. Every week or few days, when the chicken coop had to be cleaned out she would take the chicken manure and put it in their yard. This went on for years and Thurgood knew his granny and didn't understand why she never got mad or upset about this to the woman. Well years passed and the ladies grew old and lived alone. The neighbor woman got sick and granny did what she always did, she made soup. She took the soup over with some flowers and heated it up and started to feed the woman and she commented on the beautiful roses she had brought, where did she get them from? Granny said, "Well, there's a funny story about that." So she related to the woman how she used the chicken manure to grow the vegetables in the soup and for the roses.

See sometimes we may look at a gift and consider it a curse. To us it is not vitally important, but to someone else it may just grow beautiful flowers. Paul's end is not until the next chapter, anyone know what the next chapter is? 1 Corinthians 13, if we have not love any other gift is just a gong, or a cymbal. Love ties all of our gifts together, even our broken, worn and tired old gifts. What gift do you bring to the body of Christ?