(again we have a blog from Rob Hoagland, one of our many theologians-in-residence. Enjoy!)
Since Covid-19 reached our shores, I have been seeing tons of posts, about truck drivers, how important they are, and how they are single-handedly saving the American people. I’ve seen these to the point its almost infuriating (but maybe that’s just me; I get mad about weird things). Yes, they are important, but not the absolute most important, like some of these memes are boldly claiming. Then I see a meme that’s a lot more up my alley, that says something like: if you have enjoyed a book, movie, music, etc. to help you through the quarantine. You should thank an artist, you know, the true heroes….
Basically, there are a whole lot of people saying who should be making what, who the country actually depends on, and who is more important than who. Which, as someone who has grown up in the church, to me it is a rather familiar story. 1 Cor 12 talks about the body of Christ, and it sounds a whole lot like the Corinthians were arguing about who was more important: Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be?
And yes, absolutely, sometimes the “book” of Warrenton can look a bit like that, where we think that ours, or possibly even someone else’s talent isn’t as important, or can’t be used for the church. The song leader cannot say to the social media coordinator, “Because you are not a song leader, you are not part of the body.” Covid-19 has had the amazing side effect of making us see some things in a different light. Before the virus, our social media presence was nice, it was novel, and maybe it could help bring a few of those elusive youths in, but if we’re honest, our social media game wasn’t very strong. Now, in the midst of the virus, we see just how important that talent is. And I honestly feel that without Neil’s immense knowledge, we would be dead in the water, or at the very least run a lot less smoothly. Now seamstresses and crafters are being thought of when it isn’t anywhere close to VBS and we are out of costumes. And Bruces’s talents, while I think we have always known to be useful, how much more apparent are they, now that we are a church in lockdown operating on a shoestring budget? This is the time that all our “small”, “worthless”, “novel”, “inconsequential” talents are really taking a forefront, and I am really glad for that, because we have some amazing talent in the church.
Is any of this to say that the old “key” talents are any less useful? NO! There will be a time (hopefully soon) when those gifts will be returning to the forefront, but when they do, let’s not forget our hidden gems.