Epiphany 6 Blog

PASTOR CLAY SCHMIT

The Same Spirit

On Sunday, St. Paul told us “there are a variety of gifts, but the same Spirit; there are varieties of service but the same Lord; and their are a variety of activities but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.” This is good to keep in mind during these days of disorientation and divisiveness in our country. While there are many things going wrong all around us, there are a great many things going right. And the good things all come from the same source: the love of God active in the world through the hands and hearts of God’s people.

Someone recently told me about the work of the Catholic Charities in the world. They reach out to bring aid and comfort in every disaster and to meet every human need. We Lutherans know that Lutheran World Relief is also an immensely successful aid association. It is one of the most highly rated aid agencies in the world. Lutheran Social Services is the largest social assistance agency in the country. Whether the good services and activities in the world come through the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Salvation Army, any other denomination—or even secular agencies like Red Cross, we can be sure that the good work comes through the activity of the Holy Spirit who inspires us all to be God’s agents of love wherever his love is needed.

I am delighted to live in a community where the activity of God is so apparent. We have several agencies serving the hungry, such as Operation Bootstrap and the Mobile Pantry. We have several serving the needs of the homeless, like the Warming Shelter at Frame Presbyterian Church and the Salvation Army. We have the Boys and Girls club looking after our young people when the parents are working. The list is nearly endless. How wonderful to be reminded that it is the same God who activates all of these activities through the same Spirit. In spite of the exaggerated sense of division in our country, we live in a community that is united in our work for those living on the margins. Thanks be to God for drawing us all together in ways that make a difference to people in need.

Our Lutheran denomination has a wonderful slogan that captures St. Paul’s idea: God’s Work—Our Hands. It is good to remember that it is not just Lutheran hands, but the hands and hearts of all who live out their lives of faith in service to the world.

Pastor Clay Schmit