The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
17 January 2010
In this season of Epiphany, we might turn our attention to all the ways that we can understand gift in our lives. Of course, the story of the wise men bearing gifts sets off the season of Epiphany, and we might reflect for a time upon their action of giving to the baby Jesus. Broadening and deepening our focus upon “Gift” as a theme for Epiphany.
There are a variety of gifts, but the same Spirit. These words roll off the tongue so easily, for they resonate through the teachings of Jesus, and the theology of St. Paul. Variety of gifts, but activated by the same Spirit. These are beautiful words, and yet, the deep sense that in the Kingdom of God there are varieties of gifts, and varieties of peoples, can be a difficult gospel to hear. Our tendency may be to go the other way, “if only people saw things my way.” “If only you knew what I knew.” “If only people were as _____ (fill in the adjective) – bright, organized, dedicated, diligent, intuitive, … as me.”
Paul is reminding us that all the gifts are activated by the one and the same Spirit, and that these gifts are allotted, they are allotted (given) by the spirit to each one individually as the Spirit chooses. Not us, not you, not me, but the Spirit. We are not the same, we are not going to understand everything the same way, we are not going to do things the same way, but this is not only just tolerable. This is not only just ok. This is not only just acceptable. No. This is quite beautiful, and it is an inbreaking of the Kingdom . . .
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Image of DaVinci's Adoration of the Magi was found HERE