We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us. Roman 12:6
Sunday we turn our attention to the second reading of the day-Romans 12:1-8-and try to understand what Paul is saying about life within a Christian community. It’s relatively easy to talk about what Christians believe and don’t believe. It’s harder to talk about our behavior toward one another, our faithfulness within the community, and other such interpersonal matters. A Christian congregation is a special kind of community, based on trust and shared responsibility. We all have gifts to bring to the community. We all have at least some capacity for causing discord and pain within the community. We’ll listen to Paul’s inspiring address to Christian congregations in which he honors individual differences and affirms the value of individual gifts for building up the community of faith.
Every member of this congregation is important and precious. The greatest and most valuable gifts that you bring as a member of the church–as Paul writes–are not those that you would put on your resume. These gifts are (I translate directly from Romans 12:8): caring for one another, listening, giving generously, encouraging the group, being present faithfully in all seasons, identifying with those who are suffering and with those who are celebrating, being cheerful.