I like spicy food.
A good kick. A little burn. A few drops of sweat on the brow.
Hot mustard sauce does it for me. It momentarily helps my breathing by transforming the inside of my sinus cavities into a molten-lava flow. And then, about 3 seconds later…everything in the world is back to normal.
But we’re not all wired the same, are we? At lunch today at a Thai restaurant with some of my church staff colleagues, I witnessed great variety on the spicy-factor-tolerance-scale. On the “1-3 hotness” scale, some wanted 0 (I know. They’re just not right…). Others ordered a 1. I did the 2 (should have done the 3!).
The point is…we all like it the way we like it.
Kind of like church, isn’t it? We all like it the way we like it…
“On a 1-3 scale, how important is community service?”
“Oh, definitely a 3. We should be doing so much more of that.”
“Well, community service is great, and all. But worship should definitely be our primary focus. Now, that should be our 3!”
You get the point…
So, where do we put our focus? What should be hot, and what should be mild?
The Church (capital “C”) is made up of a diverse group of people. People from all over the world. People with a variety of interests. People with different skill sets. People who are great at leading worship. People who have a heart for serving others. People who are skilled with their hands. People who are good at teaching. People who…
This is why Luther’s concept of the “Priesthood of All Believers” is so applicable. We are ALL called to be ministers in the Church. We are ALL priests. We ALL have direct access to the same God. Whatever our vocation, whatever our skillset, whatever our interest—there is a role for each of us in the Church.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).
But, it’s not all about us. We are not our own priest. We, as part of the community of the Church, are priests to each other. And we’re all different. Varied. And that’s OK. The world would be kinda boring if we were all the same.
But, wherever we stand on the “spicy” scale of various church ministries, we would do well to remember that our unity is in our community, in our worshiping, our fellowship, in our service and our caring, our prayers for one another and for the world, our love and our laughter, our sadness, and in our joy.
While we had different dishes today, with a variety of spiciness levels, we all came together to share a meal. We talked. We laughed. We shared stories. And what binds us together most, is our common passionate desire to continue to help build God’s kingdom—using the unique gifts with which God has blessed us to contribute to the ministries of the church in unique and special ways.
So, what are your unique gifts and will you share them with the church? There is a new Profile field in Realm where you can identify and share your Skills and Interests. Take a few minutes and log in to your profile and click the drop downs and check those that apply.
So, whether you’re a 1 or a 3, a 12 or an 18, I invite you to use your unique tastes, talents, gifts, and desires—as a member of the “priesthood of all believers”—to help build the community of Christ.
Now, let’s get busy. We have a pretty “spicy” story to share!
All fired up,