Week of: January 19, 2020
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind — just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you — so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 1:4-7, NRSV)
I don't know that I truly understood the concept of spiritual gifts until I attended my first Fellowship Convocation. While I had certainly witnessed a variety of gifts being shared in worship, it wasn't until that first night in San Francisco that I began to realize what it really meant to be "one body with many parts" (1 Corinthians 12:12). How amazing to witness dancers moving as one, putting scripture into motion; voices soaring together, bringing texts to life; beautiful fabrics cascading into pools of candlelight, visually embodying the theme for the service. Each part of the body was represented, and working together they created a spirit-filled worship experience that was life-giving for all who were there.
Coming down from that mountaintop wasn't easy. I left feeling so inspired — but there were insufficient numbers in my choir to sing that special anthem I brought back. Our one-woman altar design "team" couldn't find others who shared her artistic passion. Members of the worship committee looked more than a little uneasy when the words "liturgical dance" were mentioned. It didn't take long before my Fellowship bubble was in serious danger of bursting.
And yet — the call of worship remained: to seek out spiritual gifts in others, and to find outlets for those gifts to be shared for the glory of Christ. Strengthened by The Fellowship and inspired by the gifts I had witnessed there, I knew I was in the right place: not on the mountaintop, but right where God was calling me to be.
Thank you, God, for the vast array of gifts you have infused in each one of us and for the way we can create beautiful worship when working together. Open our eyes to recognize the gifts in others and provide them with the opportunity to serve you and your people. Amen.
Director of Music Ministries
Herndon United Methodist Church
Photo: Dancers wave flags in opening worship at St. Luke's UMC in Kansas City during A Place at the Table, The Fellowship's 2019 Convocation. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)