Though we bring different gifts, it is the same Spirit who makes them alive in us. There are so many ways to serve the vision of Love. None of us are without something to bring to the work of the common good.
To one, the Spirit gives wisdom
and to another, the strength to weep for all that is lost,
to another, the belief that change is possible among us,
to another, a soft presence that heals in the midst of destruction,
to another, a spirit that inspires and compels,
To another, the courage to name what is making us all ill,
To another, discernment about what is good and what is evil,
To another, the ability to translate between those who cannot communicate with each other,
To another still, the gifts of recognizing God in unexpected places.
For just as the body is one and has many members,
and just as all the members of the body, though many, are one body,
so it is with Christ.
For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – we are different in culture, social location, backgrounds, bodies, and beliefs – but we were all made to drink of one Spirit who collapses the power among us.
Our baptism does not condone hierarchies. It calls upon us to bring about the dreams of God on earth – where all is held in rightful balance, none oppressed or confined, and all with access to what is needed to flourish.
Indeed, the body does not consist of one part but of many. If the artist would say, “because I am not a bridge-builder, I do not belong to the work of the common good,” that would not make them any less needed. And if the healer would say, “because I am not a dynamic speaker, I do not belong to the work of the common good,” that would not make them any less needed.
If the whole body were listeners, where would the ones who tell the truth be? If the only ones who are valued in the work of Love are those with money to give, who will be the ones to practice civil disobedience for us when evil will not budge? Who will teach our children in the ways of justice and compassion? Who will nourish our bodies – feed us, offer us touch, tend to our wounds? Who will provide us with music, that our labor may be accompanied with dancing? Will we find laughter anywhere, to sustain our spirits?
God has arranged it so that each of us are needed and each of us have offerings to bring. If we were all the same, what could we achieve? How would we survive? What a dull endeavor this would be.
The business person cannot say to the activist, I have no need of you.
Nor can the doctor say to the poet, I need you not.
On the contrary, the members of the body that society deems least significant are those most needed. We respect the disrespected. We recognize the value of the quiet ones, the strange ones, the misunderstood, misrepresented, and under-resourced ones. We lift them up and honor them, that the whole body might be restored to its natural balance, as God intended.
If any of us suffer, we all suffer.
If any of us have cause to rejoice, we all celebrate.