For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12
I think that any parent of an athlete wants their children to be a “starter.”
And “starters” are important! The five players who start the basketball game are important to getting the game going in the right direction for victory.
The starting eleven offensive players and eleven defensive players lay the ground work for a victory on the gridiron.
And the nine starting players that take the field in inning number one of a baseball game set the tone for the rest of the game.
But don’t underestimate or rule out “bench players.”
Actually, I don’t like the term “bench players.” It implies that they “ride the bench” and only cheer their team on and don’t actually play.
In baseball especially, I’m more particular to the term “utility player.” They have special skills that are vital to a game in special situations.
For example, it’s in the late innings. The home team is down by one run. There’s no outs and runners on second and third. The player coming up to the plate has gone 0-3 with two strike outs and a weak ground out to the third basemen.
He’s a good player, but just didn’t have his best stuff today. So, the coach pinch-hits for him. He points his finger at number 9, “You’re up! Get that run in from third!”
Number 9 is a utility player. He’s not the best hitter in the lineup, but he is one of the best in getting on base and moving runners over.
He has a great at-bat – taking the count to 3-2 while fouling off five or six pitches. Finally, he connects with a solid fly ball to deep right field. It isn’t deep enough for a home run, but it is deep enough for the runner on third to tag up and score easily, which he does! The game is tied!
Number 9 has a specific role on the team. He has specific gifts and the coach uses Number 9 in the best circumstance to great effect!
This is how it is in the Church as well. As Christians, we all have been gifted by the Holy Spirit. We all have the same saving gifts – salvation by grace alone through faith alone. The Holy Spirit brings to us, through the Means of Grace, the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation won for us by Jesus Christ with his death and resurrection.
But we all have different gifts to help the church grow and grow stronger.
Some Christians have the gift of languages. Some have the gift of wisdom. Some of the gift of knowledge. Some are teachers. Some are preachers. Some our care-givers. Some can write. Some can sing. Some can play a musical instrument. Some can design a building. Some can lead an outreach committee. Some can sit and pray with the sick and dying.
We all have different gifts from the same Spirit. And the Spirit uses all of us and our gifts to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world.
The Holy Spirit is calling you by name. He has given you a gift or several gifts. Use them in the Holy Christian Church!
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