Daily Devotion 30 April 2021

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31 ‘One Body’

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

The wheel is back! Some may not feel its such a welcome arrival on the Western Lawns, but personally I like it. If you’re not a fan, well be glad it’s only 35m high. I’ve been on the London Eye and that’s 135m – you can nearly feel the icicles forming on your eyebrows as you go past the top!

I sat beneath the Eastbourne Eye recently and – with no scientific knowledge whatsoever – marvelled at the structure. It’s balance, its simplicity, the lack of real apparent strength to it even, makes the mind (OK, my mind) boggle. Surely the spindly little spokes should be bigger in diameter; surely the outer circles of metal thicker to hold the pods in place? There are only a few main struts holding it too – doesn’t it need a couple more? Yet it seems utterly solid, serene, and does exactly what it was designed to do.

This sense of each aspect of design clearly playing an essential, invaluable part brought a bit of 1 Corinthians 12 to mind. The whole chapter is full of Paul’s musings on how we each are parts of a whole: individuals yes, but each unified together in Jesus Christ. Paul is completely comfortable with people being equipped with different gifts, different skills, different ways of expressing faith – because there is unity of purpose, and cohesion in Christ. What Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 12 is what I see in my ministry each and every day: some Emmanuel folk equipped for mission, others for preaching; some for pastoral care, others for property; some for work with young people, others for music…I could go on. And on.

And yet, like this seemingly delicate Eye balanced and poised so naturally, and turning exactly as it was meant to, Emmanuel’s members and friends all play their part as one: the body of Christ. So the body functions, turns, moves, and by doing so, touches lives by the sharing God’s love. The ‘more excellent way’ is a wonderful turn of phrase to describe the love of God in our lives, and each of us fulfilling our calling – no matter what the gift – as long as it’s given for the glory of God.

Prayer:

May our loving and heavenly Father, who has poured out so many gifts upon us,
help us to celebrate the differences and diversity of gift within our midst.
May we cherish one another; seek to encourage others to flourish as fully as they can,
and then rejoice as one people together, praising God for all that God does for us. Amen.

Reflection, Prayer and Image © 2021 Paul Tabraham.
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