It Takes a Village to Be the Church | UMC YoungPeople
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December 2013

It Takes a Village to Be the Church

By: Holli Long

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracle, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individual just as the Spirit chooses. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many are one body, so it is with Christ. - 1 Corinthians 12:4-12

I think, in the almost three years of my children's lives, we have collectively done about five crafts. And I'm okay with that.

It's not that I don't see the value in doing crafts with my children. It's not that I don't love the finished product when curious and growing little fingers explore with some paint. It's not that I don't hope for them to appreciate or participate in the arts one day.

I do.

Rather, it's just that with all the running around, cooking, feeding, potty trips, music class attending, library trips, story times, housework, and "No not now sweetie, Mommy is busy" excuses, we just haven't done too many crafts.

Plus, I'm just not that crafty. Period.

But I've decided that I'm going to let myself off the hook on this one. I used to feel guilty that we were not finger painting and glitter sprinkling daily. I'd see the pictures on Pinterest or the posts on Facebook from fellow parents with their amazing crafts, and think, "Oh, we really need to do some crafts." And then we didn't.

But I've decided instead to appreciate the fact that I actually cannot do it all and to be thankful for the village that helps me fill in the gaps.

So this is why I appreciate my mantel.

You see, I did not do a single one of these awesome creations with my children. Instead, we proudly display the montage of art that comes home with them from preschool and Sunday school each week.

Because not only does it proudly display the beautiful crafts my little Picassos have created, but it also reminds me how thankful I am for their preschool and Sunday school teachers who do actually do these crafts with not only my children, but with all our children.

Simply put, this mantel is a reminder that I cannot do it all by myself. A reminder that some gifts (in this case, the gift of crafting...and perhaps, at times, patience) are not my own.

And while "crafting" may not be listed among the gifts of the Spirit, the realization that I simply cannot do it all when it comes to motherhood helps me appreciate the diversity of our abilities as the community of God.

And it takes a little pressure off, too.

If I'm not feeling guilty about my inability to craft (or "heal" or "interpret tongues"), I'm freed to find and nurture the Spiritual gifts I have been given instead.

In accepting the graces and gifts of my children's teachers, my mantel has become as beautiful as it has ever been. Perhaps in the same way, the Kingdom of God is most glorified when we can accept and appreciate the gifts of the Spirit both in ourselves and in our neighbors.

After all, it takes a village to be the Church.

Discussion Questions: In this season of gift giving, what Spiritual gifts have you already received? What gifts can you appreciate in others in your life?

See more devotions from Holli and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.