January 20 (2nd Sunday after Epiphany): “There are Varieties of Gifts”
Main Text: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (Isaiah 62:1-5; John 2:1-11)
This story in the book of Isaiah has the people of God completely desolate and displaced from their heritage, land and resources. Those who were once a great people, are now no people. Everything they counted on had failed them. Yet, even now God is saying that they will be blessed. How could this be? It is only possible when we understand that God is other than our abilities, gifts and resources. In the Gospel reading, there was a wedding. The wine had run out, but Jesus was still there, once again showing how limited we are and yet how limitless God is. The letter to the Corinthians recognized that they were a very gifted community. Unfortunately, those gifts had become the focus of the community. In their desire to elevate and protect their own gifts, they were losing the power that comes when all the gifts work together. In this time of so much division over political, ideological and economic issues, might we have also made the same mistake as the Corinthian community? We are truly blessed with a variety of gifts, yet all these gifts can only be activated and empowered to work together through the Holy Spirit. As we offer the variety of gifts in this community to God, it is God who then activates these gifts for the common good. This is how the joy of the Lord becomes our strength!