Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, March, 2017

posted Feb 28, 2017, 5:40 PM by Lois Kerchner

Gifted By the Spirit

 According to Jesus' parable of the mustard seed, the kingdom of God here on earth can be compared to the seed of the mustard plant which although very small and seemingly insignificant can grow into a substantial tree. Just one tiny mustard seed, in the words of the parable, when planted in a garden grew into a tree where the birds came and roosted in the branches.

Sometimes we may feel as though our efforts are pitifully small and insignificant. What good, after all, is just one greeting card or email sent to someone in need of a little cheer and encouragement? What good is one hospital call, or that visit to a nursing home or to someone in prison? What good is a small struggling congregation compared to a megachurch on the other side of town?

The mustard seed parable suggests that Jesus can turn even our smallest efforts into something great for his kingdom! While there is no one of us who can do everything, everyone can do something.

In writing to the Corinthian Church Paul the Apostle says that, “You are Christ's body and each of you a limb or organ of it “(I Cor. 12:27). Paul makes the point that although there are varieties of gifts, and varieties of service, these all come from the same Spirit and the same Lord.

Paul's argument goes like this: “Christ is like a single body with its many limbs and organs, which, many as they are, together make up one body; for in the one Spirit we were all brought into one body by baptism, whether Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free; we were all given that one Spirit to drink” (I Cor. 12:12-13).

I like the way the hymn writer Peter Scholtes has captured these sentiments in these memorable words: “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord, and we pray that all unity may one day be restored: And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love; yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love.”

The song continues:

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand and hand, and together we'll spread the news that God is in our land. - Stanza 2

We will work with each other, we will work side by side, and we'll guard human dignity and save human pride. – Stanza 3

The concluding stanza with refrain, as you may recall, goes like this: “All praise to the Father, from whom all things come, and all praise to Christ Jesus, God's only Son, and all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one: And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love; yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love.”

Let's begin the Lenten Season with those thoughts in our hearts and minds, and hopefully you can be present for prayer in the Leola UMC Sanctuary during our Ash Wednesday Prayer Vigil on the 1st of March.

 George Weaver - Pastor of Maturing Ministries