The same holds true for you: since you are ambitious for spiritual gifts, use your ambition to try to work toward being the best at building up the church. – 1 Corinthians 14:12
“God’s work, our hands.” That’s the tag line often used by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). I like that. In those four little words, there’s some deep theology. There’s identity. It assumes we are God’s people, and the work we do is not for us, but for The Lord. By God’s love and grace, we are invited to go to work. The fact that it is work, let’s us know it won’t be easy, but experience tells it will be worth it. Simple but difficult. Invitation and challenge.
While it may seem foolish when you look at the harm folks do to each other daily, this is God’s way. Trusting us to take care of each other, to love our neighbor, to build each other up. That should be our ambition as well.
Abraham Lincoln seems to have drawn on this principle, also found in writings of our nations founding documents, in the Gettysburg Address when he speaks of a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”.
It’s what God intends for the church – A community of folks who aren’t looking out for themselves, but looking to build each other up.
Who can you build up today? How are you going to do it? Use words and actions. God’s work, our hands.
Prayer: Lord, work through me today to build somebody up. Amen.