I heard a sound clip the other day from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address. You have probably heard it, too. It went something like this: “Ask not what your country can do for you.”
It was a good sound bite that addressed the hopes and fears of our nation. And, I have to admit, in the past almost fifty years, there isn’t much that has changed. There are still people who will be service oriented, and those who wish to be served.
I suspect that St. Paul had this human penchant in mind when he wrote the words of our text. In the closing verses of our text he said: “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.”
This was our Lord Jesus’ way of doing things. He lowered Himself when He became a mere mortal like you and me. He subjected Himself to divine law and human rules. He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. He did all this for two simple reasons. The first was so that He could obey His heavenly Father’s will that all men be saved from perdition in hell. The second reason was because Jesus loved people like you and me. Jesus willingly gave up His life so that even sinners like us could receive God’s forgiveness and places in His heavenly home. In His life, death and resurrection Jesus demonstrated that He desired the higher gift -- so should we.
We pray: "Lord Jesus Christ, every good and perfect gift comes from you. Humble us so that we may use the gifts you have given us in service to our neighbors. In your gracious name, Amen."