Look back at the first chapter of Corinthians--Paul has heard that the congregation has divided into groups and the groups are not getting along. The more things change .... you know the rest.
Paul continues to lecture and warn and remind them of what they should be concerned about.
In Chapter 12, he talks about spiritual gifts. (We aren't sure whether the Greek term should be translated as "spiritual gifts" or "spiritual persons").
Paul tells them, and through them, tells us that a congregation is made up of people with different gifts. Both words are important: different and gifts.
Gifts denotes that we don't get these talents or abilities by ourselves. The Spirit of God has passed them out to us. Different is also important because difference is essential if the whole thing is going to work.
Note the pattern from unity through diversity in order to enable unity.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Varieties of Gifts, a Reflection on 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13