I recently received the following quote in a text message. I received it because I was the person who came to mind as an expert.
I want to let you know
that if you ever need to have plant killed,
I‘m the person for that job”
You see, I cannot keep a plant alive. It’s not that I don’t like plants, or that it is my mission to provide them end of life care. It’s just that I don’t see plants. They do not even come under my radar as I function in my home. Every two weeks or so, I think “Oh no, I haven’t watered the plant!” I get some water and pour it in the pot. The water runs down the inside of the pot and out the bottom because the soil is all dried up and hard. You see, plants need water. Without water they will quickly wither away.
Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV)
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[a] and teachers,[b]12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,[c]to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
What about us? Will we wither? God has called us to Himself and the Holy Spirit lives in us. He sustains and nourishes us through His Spirit and through His Word. God’s character is love and it is displayed through community. He is triune. He placed us in Christian communities as a way for us to thrive, to be able to stand firm without being “tossed to and fro.” So how is this played out? Ephesians tells us that we are joined together by the Holy Spirit that lives in us. He has given us gifts. The gifts are not for our benefit, but for the benefit of each other. We all have a gift. A vibrant, functioning church community requires that we are all serve in our gifts and benefit from the gifts of others. It requires both giving and receiving. To be deeply rooted and growing into His beautiful image, into “the fullness of Christ,” requires us to be regularly “watered.”
My challenge to you is twofold. First, find a place to be watered and grow. Second, use your spiritual gift. If you are not sure of your gift, ask God to make it known. Try out some different things. Your gift will definitely rise to the top as you find yourself excited and energized. We have been given a great gift in each other. Let’s “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:14 ESV)