4th August 2018

Finding Our Niche?

(from www.churchofscotland.org.uk)


Ephesians 4:4-7
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
I had a really interesting discussion with a retired farmer last week: he was sharing how, with all the pressures and setbacks that continue to assail farming communities, farmers are having to be fairly creative, finding 'an angle' that will get them noticed and encourage folks to choose their produce over others.
Just a few days before, I'd listened to a young farmer describing how he had managed to leverage his way into becoming a 'barista-preferred' milk supplier. After months of trials and failures, he'd finally convinced a coffee shop to accept his farm's milk as their preferred option. That success led him on to other ways of specialising - the farm has recently achieved organic certification and, his latest pursuit, currently being crowd-funded, is the ditching of single use plastic by going back to bottling milk. He"d already sourced and restored the machinery necessary for washing and filling bottles but crowd funding was needed to purchase the glass bottles which are really expensive.
This resonated with some thoughts I've been having about church- What if the people of God, gathered as community "found their niche" in all their differing contexts?
I don't mean finding a gap and filling it.
Rather, by waiting on God, by taking time to discern the peculiarity of our gifts together, to discover that one thing that we can do well in and with our community alongside God.
It seems we're always looking for the next thing, or simply trying to keep things on the road. But what if we were to stop and ask God: what is required of us for this time and this place? What would church look like then?
And would we have the nerve to do what God asks of us (no more, no less) and trust others to live into their calling, each playing their part in building the kingdom?
Ephesians 4:15-16
But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

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