September 6, 2015
"Maintaining a Balance"
A couple of weeks ago, I spotted a poster on Facebook that made me laugh out loud. With appropriate graphics, it stated: "Science can tell you how to clone a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Humanities can tell you why this might be a bad idea."
In our community of well-educated and highly skilled people with engineering, scientific, and technical training, the analytical, organized approach is bound to carry over into other groups and organizations in which these individuals are involved. Also involved in these groups are significant numbers of "liberal arts geeks" (like me) who contribute another perspective. We might suggest a consideration of the needs of the whole group, or how well an activity or event reflects the purpose of the organization. So it is that people with differing talents and perspectives are able to create balance within a group. Since we work, play, learn and grow in this place -- and for that matter, share this planet -- it's a good thing to listen, speak up, and respect individual viewpoints and abilities.
In the process of tossing this idea around, the verses about "varieties of gifts" came to mind, and I searched it out. I Corinthians 12:4-6 in my Revised Standard Version says, "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one."
In the Lutheran Study Bible, there is slightly different wording in verse 6, "and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone."
So in one there is reference to working and being inspired; in the other, a reference to activities and being activated. I don't see these two versions as radically different, but there is an interesting, if subtle, variation.
The margin commentary in the study Bible was enlightening, as it makes the point that the Apostle Paul wrote this to make it clear to these newly forming congregations that different gifts are given to different people, but they all come from the same source, that is, God. The reason God gives these varied gifts is for the common good, in order to meet the needs of those sharing a life together in faith.
We see those varied gifts within our congregation -- musicians, teachers, and worship leaders, those who care for our building, who spearhead service projects, who welcome visitors, who are responsible for our financial matters, who faithfully attend worship. What a blessing to be able to share our abilities -- and sometimes to stretch ourselves, and move a little out of that comfort zone. We are drawn together as we support one another in finding ways to serve in the name of our Lord.
Your friend in Christ,