Cameron Semmens on gifts

This Sunday at Collins Street, we’re exploring the business of ethics at work. I’ve been thinking about how broad that term is – work – and how unique its challenges are to each of us. Still, from homemakers to teachers, stockbrokers to bricklayers, students to grandparents, the challenge of discerning God’s presence and call in our work is the same.

One of my favourite everyday poets, Cameron Semmens, provides this take on the gifts of the Spirit. I like it. It reminds me that no matter how ‘religious’ or otherwise our work seems, the calling and gifting of God is what we have in common.

The Gift of Everyday Spirituality

[Based on 1 Corinthians 12.1-11]

Our God is the giver of gifts
and all of God’s children are gifted:

to one is given the word of wisdom,
to another the word of knowledge,
to another the ability to give a word-for-word account
of what was said last Saturday;

to one is given faith,
to another faithful adherence to instruction manuals;

to one is given the gift of healing,
to another the gift of making a good chicken soup
for when I get the flu;

to one is given the ability to work miracles,
to another the ability to work 9 to 5, Monday to Friday;

to one is given the gift of prophesy,
to another the gift of profits;

to one is given the gift of discerning spirits,
to another the gift of selecting wines;

to one is given different kinds of tongues,
to another the interpretation of tongues,
to another the ability to curl their tongue,
and to yet another
the ability to stick their tongue out at meanies.

To one and all gifts are given:
to some, otherworldly gifts,
to others, more earthy gifts,
but each is sourced from the same Spirit
and each is sent for the service of all.

Cameron Semmens, Love is the New Black, Crooked NoseWisdom, 2010.

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