Advent devotional day 4 [1 Cor 1: 3-9]: What you have is enough
For those who may not know, I am in the candidacy process for ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church. This period of discernment wherein I am committing to explore my call to ministry is one that involves a range of activities from meeting with a mentor, to taking assessments and writing responses to ministry questions to further theological study. I do admit it is a bit involved.
In September I met with my mentor to go over an inventory I had taken. I had a pretty good sense in which areas I would score high: music, church administration, teaching. What surprised me was my reaction to the areas I scored ‘moderately low’: evangelism, spiritual guidance, preaching—things I had experience doing for years and things that I associated with pastoral ministry. You know, caring for people. Yes, I let myself have a little pity party as I mulled over the results wondering what I was lacking and what more I needed to learn and achieve to serve God through the church.
As we turn to today’s text, I Corinthians 1: 3-9, we read that by the grace of God through Christ, we are already given all that we need.
I thank my God always for you, because of God’s grace that was given to you in Christ Jesus. 5 That is, you were made rich through him in everything: in all your communication and every kind of knowledge, 6 in the same way that the testimony about Christ was confirmed with you. 7 The result is that you aren’t missing any spiritual gift while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. –I Cor. 1: 4-7
It’s easy for us to slip into a state of anxiety. The economy has tanked and our sense of job security is waning. Even in matters of the church we bring this worry. We think, I don’t have what it takes to serve on that ministry team orI’ve never done ____ before. What if I do it wrong? Or in my case, Am I really called to ministry of ANY form?
As Christians living in a constant state of already and not yet, we work to bring about the age when God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is our eschatological hope as we wait for Jesus Christ the hope of the world.
We cling to this hope because it is promised to us that God is faithful:
8 He will also confirm your testimony about Christ until the end so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, and you were called by him to partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
As we continue journeying through Advent, let us be reminded that our God is a generous God who through Christ we are not lacking in any spiritual gift.
Prayer: Ever-faithful God, help us to shift our gaze from what we think we don’t have to recognize the gifts you have already provided. Though everything else around us tells us we need more, remind us that in Christ we have all that we need.