On Sunday 20 January Mark Ian and Amanda provided the worship lead and music today. Mark introduced a new instrument into our worship band today. We think it was Leo’s guitar but Mark is adamant that it is a ukulele.
Esther brought the Word. She opened by saying how great it was to see Mark and the family after a week of sickness. We’ve seen people sharing their gifts today, start with an illustration of today’s Bible passage.
Esther pressed Jacob into service to help her with a bowl of Granola. She used this to reminds us we’re all different. She read out the advertising on the box with ingenious blend of exciting flavours as she went through the ingredients.
Where are we in the granola picture? We need something special and for us it is the Holy Spirit. Milk is the example she used in the Granola exercise to illustrate the spirit. We’ve all come with different gifts and worries. Esther then read fron 1 Corinthians 1:11.
This is Paul , we know him well now. It would serve us welll to remind ourselves of the encounter with God in Acts 9. Paul (as Saul) was persecuting Christians and then he met God and was blind for three days until Ananias was sent to restored his sight.
Saul was a changed man ,verse 39 talks about the impact of Paul, we may not have had a Paul moment but the passage in Corinthians reminds us this is the same spirit, the same God moving with us. Paul has a close relationship with thee church in Corinth. He visited them in his mission to Europe. He met people and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks alike to turn to Christ. He’s ministering to people God has placed there, people who were led by God to set up the church in Corinth . Many of the people who heard Paul believed and were baptised. God spoke to Paul , and told him do not be afraid keep speaking and Paul stayed for a year and a half.
Paul appeals for them to be united. C 1 v10.There was disunity going on. They were all following someone else. He reminds them where they come from. He shows them a living God! He shares the relationship he has with God.
We can have the same relationship with God. We all have the Holy Spirit in us when we proclaim Jesus is Lord. We all have gifts to share .
There are different gifts for different people. We pray for unity for this week in our country in our town, in Brexit. We need to pray this week for unity in the nation.
We celebrate our diversity, our different gifts and backgrounds. We don’t need to wonder. The focus in verse 7. The gift is given for the common good. What they are for is the common good, as we share our gifts, Ian with the music, Edris with her bible passage, the community with Filling Station.
Esther then quotes from Rowan Williams from his book Tokens of trust, which she has borrowed from Tim.
He describes a church together in active peacemaking no I without the other. God gives you a gift that only you can give. Esther shared her own recent experience of a missing bottle of Lenor conditioner. She thought her daughter may have taken it by mistake, but when she asked her she said she hadn’t taken it. So they investigated the boot of the car and found a gap in the bottom of the car that led to the empty spare wheel well. Not only did they find the missing bottle of Lenor, they also found lots of other missing shopping items. There were lots of hidden gifts found in the car. It’s easy for our gifts to get hidden.
We should all be working to release the gifts of others, how can we help the person sitting next to us. Esther recalled the many surveys that used to go around churches in the past. She made the point that you don’t find your gifts through a survey you find them by serving.
Rowan Williams pointed out that as the needs of others change our gifts may change. Ask God to use us to benefit others.
Esther offered up her own experience as an example. She’s done a lot of children’s work in the past but has always said to God “not teenagers!”.
God had different plans for Esther’s gifts though and she is now working with teenagers at filling station and attending youth work training. We want these teenagers to fulfil their potential.
9 gifts mentioned in this particular passage. This is just about Jesus and if we have Jesus these gifts are available, prepare for them, share them. Our scripture and songs touch everyone each week. God wants us all to be healers.
It is great when we see people demonstrating their gifts and showing people the way to God. Be prepared to share. Was Jesus’s the first miracle at a social function important? He showed who God was. Jesus’s death on the cross and his powerful resurrection is through the same gift of the spirit. Tim Kellor a unique flower in his garden. All the gifts are important and we should not take them for granted or use them to dominate or exclude. Our launch event will an opportunity to share on Saturday! We hope for us all to be able to share to be stronger, to be bigger.
Esther concluded with a quote from Lynn Green of the Baptist Union of Great Britain ‘As I meet churches and leaders across Baptists Together it is very clear to me that God is at work stirring up a renewed passion for prayer and a fresh desire to work together because we long to see God’s Kingdom come in our communities and nations. Pray, deepen relationships and be part of what God is doing in these days!’