Some of you go to churches that have stain glass windows in them. If your church does not, then look for them in other churches around your community. Stain glass is very beautiful and the different colors and shapes of glass are put together in just the right way to make a lovely picture of some kind – usually a scene from the Bible if the window in a church. Imagine you are a color and shape in such a window. What color and shape would you be? By yourself you would just be a piece of glass, but together with the other pieces of glass, the artist would make you into something very special and unique – a work of art. The artist needs each piece of individual stained glass working with the other pieces to make the picture complete.
In Romans 12: 4-6a, God tells us, “Each one of us has one body, and that body has many parts. These parts don’t all do the same thing. In the same way, we are many people, but in Christ we are all one body. We are the parts of that body, and each part belongs to all the others. We all have different gifts. Each gift came because of the grace God gave us.”
Being part of God’s family is like being a part of a stained glass window. We each have an important gift that is needed to fit into the whole of the church. We may have the gift of teaching, preaching, encouraging, healing, giving, service, prophecy, leadership, or mercy. Those are called Spiritual Gifts in the Bible. (You can read more about these gifts in 1 Corinthians 12.)
Nobody has every gift, and your gift is given by God to be special just for you. Finding and using your unique gift is an adventure that helps you understand what the will of God is for your own life. When we combine our gifts with the gifts of others, we have the ability to make something just as beautiful as a stain glass picture – the body of Christ as the church – loving and serving God by loving and serving others – each doing what we are best at doing. We are all needed with each of our own special gifts to work together to make the church.
So remember the stain glass of a church when we talk about working together and being the body of Christ in the church. Just as our bodies need each individual part to function correctly, each one of us plays a part in the whole of the church because God gives us our own special talents to fit into the whole. We are each important parts of the body that together make up the whole body we call our church.
Let’s say a prayer together. Dear God, thank You for giving us each gifts to use to love and serve You better. Please help us to realize our unique gifts, so we may know Your will for our lives. Then let us use those gifts and work together to further Your kingdom here on earth. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is a retired pastor, formerly of the Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.