“Desire The Greater Gifts!”(I Cor.12:21-31).
My people say “when scabies are on the buttocks it gives work to the fingers and fingernails.” Imagine that the buttocks are used to undermining the fingernails and calling them “little ordinary fingernails!”
Back in the days when our fathers were not used to the proper hygiene of constant hand-washing they ate and wiped their hands on their legs, saying, “when you eat you should give some to your legs as a sign of appreciation.” This is so because if your legs did not carry you to that place, you wouldn’t have seen and eaten the food. We see that many parts of the body are involved to feed the body. That is, your legs, hands, mouth, teeth, tongue, throat, etc. Your body cannot be complete to function fully well if one part of the body is missing – no matter how small and insignificant that part is.
David had always wondered why God created the spider which keeps disturbing humans with its webs. One time when he was running away as king Saul pursued him, he saw a cave and took refuge inside the cave. As soon as David and his men entered the cave a spider came and wove its web on the entrance of the cave. When Saul and his men came across the cave, some of them suggested that they should enter the cave as David may be hiding inside. Others argued that it was needless to enter the cave because of the unbroken web at the entrance to the cave. And that’s how the spider’s web saved David and his men. From then on David thanked God for creating the spider and its web.
You see my friend, God knows why he equips us differently. Some gifts may seem insignificant but its importance cannot be underestimated.
Whatever we are, we belong to each other in the same way that each part of the body belongs to the body; serving the needs of the whole body.
One more story as we contextualize the gospel message to our local context. I’ve told this story more than once. But that’s how we learned storytelling – repeating the same story over and over!
A monkey was perching on a tall treetop. A tortoise was idling somewhere close to the tree. Suddenly the tortoise saw a hunter taking aim to shoot the monkey with his gun. The tortoise was a bit far away from the monkey and couldn’t alert the monkey of impending danger. Fortunately the the tortoise saw a snail crawling up the tree and getting close to the monkey. The tortoise told the snail to warn the monkey that its life was in danger. But the snail replied the tortoise, “If the hunter wants to shoot the monkey, how does that involve you and I!” So saying the snail did not warn the monkey. The hunter shot the monkey and as it came tumbling down it swept the crawling snail and they both landed near the tortoise. When the hunter came to pick up the monkey he saw and picked up the snail and tortoise as well. He put them all in his hunting bag.
On the way home the tortoise asked the snail, “When I asked you to alert the monkey of danger you told me it was none of our problems. Now that we are in the same hunter’s bag with the monkey is it still not our problem?”
We are many parts, but one body. No part is superior to the other!
All those who have the gift of glossolalia and faith-healing should avoid the spiritual arrogance that undermines other gifts. And those who have those other kinds of gifts should not feel inferior.
We belong to each other and the gifts God has given us – big or small – should be placed in humbleness at the service of everybody. This is what it means to “eagerly desire the greater gifts” of “faith, hope and love;” the greatest of which is love(I Cor.13:13).
We all belong to the Church, the body of Christ; and none of us is superior than others! Let no one make you feel inferior in the body of Christ!
Weekend prayer: Thank you LORD for the gift I have, no matter how small or big. Help me to use it for the general good. Amen!
Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.