Nadia Bolz Weber has a unique way of putting words together. More than once, as I have read copies of her sermons, I've had to pause...because she just explained something, in words I understand, that I had been struggling to wrap my head around...this week is no different. Her sermon is on Spiritual Gifts...
And the gifts he lists are awesome: wisdom, knowledge, faith,
discernment, miracles, prophesy. But the point is this: It all makes
sense to me that we need some people who are wise and some who are
discerning and some who have knowledge. But what struck me this week
was that included on the list of gifts from the spirit that some have
and some don’t but that are given for the good of the whole: is faith.
Faith. The thing Christians torture themselves about having or not having or having enough of.
unlike singular gifts of prophesying or knowledge, or teaching yoga, we
assume faith is the mark of the Christian. Weren’t most of us taught
that we must, as individual Christians have the right quantity and
quality of faith? Yet faith is listed among all the gifts allotted to
some people for the sake of the whole. In a way, it kind of takes the
pressure off. That is not to say that Faith is not critically
important. It is. Clearly it is. It’s just that I think God doesn’t
necessarily give faith in sufficient quantity to individuals. God gives
it to in sufficient quantity to communities.
Which is really kind
of beautiful. It’s a real hang up to a lot of people…maybe even you…you
worry you don’t have faith, because you don’t always intellectually
ascent to a certain set of theological ideas. But what Paul seems to be
saying is that maybe faith isn’t everyone’s spiritual gift. Maybe the
Spirit creates more faith is some people than others but that their
faith is for the common good of us all. That feels like a blessed
relief to me.
I encourage you to read the entire piece...