John 2:1-11/ 1 Corinthians 12:1-11/ Psalm 36:5-10
We Are Puzzle Pieces
Community of Diverse Gifts
My Korean group in the United Church of Canada called Korean Rainbow United (KRU) is a minority group even inside the Korean community. We are only 8 members plus one lady who has helped with YouTube video editing and another who only helps in the translation team of which I am the leader.
It is a small group, and we do a lot of work, so, a lot of times, I wish we had more members. However, we are a small group of talented people. One minister in SK is technologically savvy and is in charge of our YouTube channel and video editing. I am in charge of the translation team because I have done translation works professionally.
Even though I know about translation works, my Korean language skills have decreased over the years, so we have a member in my team who proofreads my Korean words and sentences. I am best at English, but she is best at Korean. Together, we can create good works.
In each of our YouTube videos, a speaker records their message, I do the translation, the technologically savvy minister does the editing, and his wife proofreads my Korean translation. Creating a short video message for YouTube is the collaboration of several people with different gifts. Plus, when I am the speaker, my sister provides the background music since she is a professional pianist. We all contribute our gifts to achieve one good work.
Different Gifts of the Spirit
We learn from First Corinthians chapter 12 that we have received different gifts from one God, the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t matter what our gifts or weaknesses are. We are designed to work together, contribute our gifts, and compliment the weaknesses of others in the process.
No gift is superior to others; all gifts are meant to be equally important. Remember how, during this pandemic, the professionals that the society usually looks down on turned out to be essential to our survival. We call them “essential workers” and started appreciating them. The purpose for our different gifts is for us to work together and rely on each other to survive. We are not meant to thrive alone and feel superior. We are interdependent. We need each other to survive. That is God’s will.
Wedding at Cana
In our gospel story, Jesus, his disciples, and his mother are at a wedding. Wedding banquets are important to weddings, so, when they are faced with a crisis involving wine running out, Jesus’ mother puts her son in charge and tells the servants to do whatever he tells them.
Reflecting on the different gifts we receive, what Mary does in this story is remarkable. Usually, kitchen and managing meals and parties are a woman’s domain. I’m sure she knew all about preparing food, but if there is one thing that she cannot do is creating wine out of thin air.
She shows a good leadership skill here. It is my belief that a good leader is not one charismatic person doing everything. A good leader knows how to use their resources. A good leader draws out the gifts of others. Again, because we are created to work together and rely on each other.
We believe in God who loves all of us equally like a good parent and who gave us different gifts so we can work together. This is the God we praise.
We praise God with the words of the psalmist who sang, “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.”
The feast and the abundance of God are achieved through our collaborative works of the kingdom using our different gifts that God has given us.
Epiphany: Realizing Our Different Gifts
We are in the Season of Epiphany. One of the ways in which God’s light is revealed to us is realizing our gifts and also acknowledging the gifts of others. It is to understand that we are meant to humbly work together. We are like puzzle pieces.
We are all equally important in forming one whole picture of the puzzle. We need everybody’s gifts to complete this puzzle called God’s kingdom.
Let us not feel superior or inferior about our gifts. Let us understand that we need everybody’s contribution to properly do God’s works. This new year, let us all lift up each other’s gifts and use ours for our ministry. Praise God for bringing us together as a community.