gold_wrapped_giftI am reminded of a story once told about a carpenter’s shop. On this particular day, the tools decided to hold a meeting and of course the hammer was in control. He called the meeting to order with a couple of raps on the work bench. It didn’t take long for the animosity to begin as some of the tools decided that the hammer should leave the shop. They felt like the hammer was too forceful and hard on many of the other tools.

The hammer spoke up and said that if he was asked to go, then the screwdriver needed to go as well because it has to go around and around to accomplish anything. But then the screwdriver said that if it had to go, then the planer needed to go as well because the work completed by the planer was ever only surface level. There was never any depth to that work.

Of course, the planer then spoke up and claimed that the ruler also had to go because it always needed to be right and also measured everything and judging. Then the sandpaper’s work was brought into question and it was agreed that he had to go because it was always rubbing people the wrong way.

Just then, the carpenter walked in and began to pull wood out and then tool after tool was used to build this beautiful piece of furniture. After a long day of working, the carpenter left and the tools then gathered to admire the work accomplished. The saw spoke up and said that this piece of furniture was actually a pulpit from which the gospel message would be preached. The saw then said that all of the tools were used in the creation of this piece, that they all worked together, and that this could not have been completed if any tool was missing. They were all needed.

We spoke this past Sunday about spiritual gifts. 1st Corinthians chapter 12 tells us; “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.”

We have all been gifted with these spiritual gifts and we are all needed in this great plan of God’s to reach a world that needs to hear about Jesus Christ, but maybe even more, just needs to witness the people of God showing grace and mercy.

Too often, we think some gifts are more important than others and maybe that some are not even needed. But we hear over and over again in scripture that we are all needed and that we all have sacred worth in God’s eyes.

As the baseball playoffs begin, I can’t help but think about the team concept when reflecting on the church as the body of Christ. We probably think that a team can never win if they do not have a pitcher on the team, but what about a second basemen, or catcher, or even a third base coach? They are all needed to win and if any one part of the team is not playing the way they should, a loss is quick to follow. It also is obvious when position players play where they are not gifted. It is very rare to see someone who plays first base, to pitch. They know their gifts and talents and they use them in the right places.

So, no matter what position you play, or whatever gifts you have been given, use them to the glory of God. That is what is required of you. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. God has called you and gifted you in certain areas and that’s where God intends you to be. We are all a part of the body of Christ. Some are called to be a hand, some a foot, some and ear, and some yet an eye. Be the best part of the body that you can.