Lenten Devotional – Day 10 – Gifts
This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. (1 Corinthians 4:1)
What is the true nature of apostleship? The word apostle comes from the Greek word apostolos, which simply means, “a sent one.” An apostle is a messenger, an ambassador, a minister, a servant. This is Paul’s definition of a true minister of Christ. Here Paul speaks of the ability of everyone in the Church, who by the gift of the Spirit was a minister or a teacher of the Word of God. Every Christian is in the ministry.
At this time Corinth was a prosperous commercial center as well as the capitol of the Roman province of Achaia. The people of Corinth included wealthy and dignified aristocracy with the larger population being slaves and the poor. Paul had been successful in converting a small group of Jews and pagans about five years earlier. He wrote this letter to the church in Corinth around 56 or 57 AD while in Ephesus on his missionary journey. Paul is responding to the turmoil felt in Corinth since his last visit.
There is much quarrelling going on and Paul makes an appeal for unity in the Christian faith in a sanctified doctrine and practice. Paul defines the boundaries of the Gospels to end the bickering. Paul explains apostleship: have faithful leadership; that Christian leadership involves serving and guarding; to have trust through faithfulness in God; to trust the mystery; to trust God to handle the Judgment; and to learn from their leaders.
God has gifted different people and different leaders in different ways. These gifts are from God, by God and for God. Brothers and sisters are the heart of church. Each Christian is gifted. Together the Christian community has ALL the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is why community is so powerful.
You and I are called as apostles, as servants, to go into our world and make a difference. Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks Compassion on this world, Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world. Christ has no body now on earth but yours. – St. Teresa of Avila