The animal kingdom understands the value of sharing gifts for the benefit of all. Geese take turns leading the migration and share the hard work; dolphins protect a birthing mother; buffalo form a ring around their young in times of danger; squirrels and birds hide seeds and nuts and propagate new growth for yet more seeds and nuts. Together ants can topple kingdoms. Yet it seems that often for humans our God-given gifts are used competitively to promote self rather than benefit community.
St. Paul responds to questions about which gifts of the Spirit are most important. He explains that the same Spirit, Lord and God provides all we need to successfully benefit the common good of our community. While acting independently may bring momentary attention to our work, the benefits of gathering as church, combining and supporting the gifts of each other, greatly increases the ability of each individual and accomplishes much for the benefit of everyone. The burden of responsibility shifts because we don’t have to go it alone, but rather have each other and the Holy Spirit.
Gifting and sustaining Holy One, we are graced with every gift in community. Gather and fill us with your love, directing us to your purpose. Amen. — PAM