Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. -1 Corinthians 12.4-12
This Saturday, our parish is hosting its Annual Fall Fair. The event is pretty huge. We start our work as early as the late winter, and the final pieces come into place in this last week. Everyone has a role – whether it is accumulating items for and assembling raffle baskets, clearing out closets for attic treasures, asking for donations for raffle prizes, making crafts or baked goods for sale, running the food truck, helping with parking, laying out spaces for vendors, coordinating all the vendors, or helping put up signs for the event. And the list is much, much longer. Everyone seems to find a role a play, no matter what their age or ability. It is truly amazing to watch.
Though this last week of preparation can be crazy, what I love watching is the body of Christ at work. I really see the fullness of gifts in our parish, and I am blown away by the way that everyone offers their varieties of gifts. It makes me so proud to watch our parishioners work hard together and I cannot wait to see the fruits of their labor on Saturday.
What is especially great about this week is that this week is a microcosm of what life is like every week at St. Margaret’s. Though I might not see as many people through the office and on the property in a given week, we really do offer all our gifts throughout the year. Our teachers teach our young children, our graphics designers help with our artistic work, our folks called to prayer and pastoral care pray for our parishioners and visit the sick, our gardeners tend our garden and take the produce to the hungry, and our altar guild prepares the Table. Without any one of these gifts, St. Margaret’s would not display the fullness of Christ; and at the same time, we are humble enough to know that St. Margaret’s is not yet complete – that we are missing members with gifts that we do not have. And so, we are always wondering who God will bring through our doors, how chance encounters might enrich our corporate life, and how God is ever inviting us to grow the body of Christ. We are a community who needs our varieties of gifts – which means we need you too.