For the Common Good

..For the Common Good”
Reflection by Pastor, Rev. Dr. Scott Arnold    10/27/2020
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (I Corinthians 12:4-7)
                The wonder and beauty of God’s creation is filled with so many examples of diversity with unity.  Likewise, there is unity with diversity.  What is the difference of placing one word in front of another? Perhaps the difference is where you begin, or how you look at life. If one begins with God, then one sees a creator who made a creation that holds together while being intricate, diverse, and multifaceted. If one begins with creation, then one sees many different things and begins to observe how they fit together and relate to one another.  In either direction of view, there is a commonality, a unity, that one may discover. Astronauts orbiting around the earth on the space station will see our unity while pondering the fragile wonder of a planet marbled with oceans, land, ice, and clouds. The lines that demarcate boundaries between nations are invisible and less important than caring for life and one another on this good planet that God has given us. A scientist looking under a microscope at the intricacies of cellular structure and micro-organisms will make connections of interactions, relationships, chemistry, structure, causality, and effect.  An astronomer looking through a telescope can study the vast reaches of space and watch the stars, galaxies, nebula, asteroids, and planets to see how these giant objects interact also in causality and effect. 
Theologians like Paul have considered human life as a creation of God for both body and Spirit, that there is a marvelous and mysterious connection of both in the human condition for individuals and community.  Regarding the Church, the Family of God, Paul wrote that there are different kinds of gifts, service, and ways that the Spirit of God works in people. However, this diversity has at its core a unity, “the same God is at work”.  Furthermore, the reason God is at work through His Spirit in people is that “to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”  The ultimate objective of God’s plan and purposes is for the “common good”.
Now there are many ways to apply this theology of stewardship, that wants us to seek what is for the “Common Good”.  One cannot dismiss any aspect of life, and relationship, if one adopts this value of stewardship the Apostle Paul identifies. Paul is not being a socialist, he is not being political, He is being true to the nature of life and the commandments of God.  The astronauts, astronomers, microbiologists, chemists, and physicists have all realized how much life fits together and how concerning this age of global warming and pandemic spread is to our existence. Even more, the Theologian and people of faith desire to see faith realized within people so that God’s Holy Spirit will be distributed within individuals for new life and transformation.  Come Lord Jesus.
What will we do with our lives?  How will we be good stewards, faithful to our God and respectful and encouraging with one another?  We live in a fragile time, when our decisions do matter, and our voice, actions, and votes are a vital part of our responsibilities.  Pray and act upon the belief that to be a good steward as a child of God is to see our unity and diversity as a precious and sacred matter, and to seek the righteousness, grace, and truth of God.    

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