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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Spiritual Gifts for the common good

No one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.  For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. ~ 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

What's the point of giving the Spirit? What's it for?

The common good.

Read that again. "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."

We are big in this country about individual rights. Rights to bear arms. Rights to hold onto your own money. Right to say what you want.

Some translate that as the right to do what you want. That that's what freedom is.

In churches, these individual rights are often evident as well: wanting worship to be the way I prefer; wanting money to be spent the way I'd like; choosing to be as involved or not involved as I'd like; expecting not to hear things that challenge me.

But what is the Spirit for?

The common good. Freedom isn't for me. My faith isn't just about me. My church isn't just about me. My rights aren't just about me. My money isn't just for me.

My life isn't just about me.

From the beginning, the church was a group of people who focused on the common good. Who lived not for themselves, but for each other.

A group of people caring for each other. Loving each other. Sharing a life together.

A group of people that lived for each other and for those around them. Including the wider community.

Send your Holy Spirit to breathe life into this world so that we love and care for each other. All of us! Amen

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