By Donia Hovet
A couple days ago, my family sat down and watched a classic movie from the 90’s called “Cool Runnings.” It tells the story of the first Jamaican bobsled team coached by Irv, a former Olympic bobsledder who had been stripped of his gold medals for cheating decades earlier. I love this movie! I’ve watched it countless times, but every time I watch it I am moved to tears. It’s a movie about overcoming, perseverance, the joy of triumph, and, best of all: REDEMPTION. Watching the Jamaican four sprinters, who had never before seen or experienced snow, clumsily learn to run on ice is inspiring (and hilarious)! But even more so is the transformation of Coach Irv as he experiences rejection and persecution for his former sins, but rises above it all to lead his team with integrity and belief. The team redeems Coach Irv, and in doing so, Coach Irv is empowered to move on from his former sin and into new life. He finds himself on a mission, not to serve himself, but rather to sponsor four black men into a sport that wanted nothing to do with them.
Do you see what I’m seeing?
Jesus redeemed us through his death and resurrection on the cross. But he didn’t do it so that we could stay the same. He did it to bring us new life and to put us on his mission. He doesn’t ask us to do it on our own, he has a better plan. Read Acts 1:8:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:8
Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit gives us each specific gifts in order to do this work of being God’s witnesses.
READ 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Pastor Isaac asked the question this past Sunday: Are we Pentecostal? Yes! When I read this passage in 1 Corinthians, I want to rephrase the answer to Isaac’s question to: “I certainly hope so!” Every gift listed is vital to the community of believers as we go forth and make disciples. We need one another!
Coach Irv needed his team to believe in him-to believe that he could be better than he’d been. He needed his team to train hard and use their talents. And the team needed Irv’s expertise, his connections, his leadership. In the same way, we, the body of Christ, are a team, empowered by the Holy Spirit and on a mission, one with eternal rewards.
- Reflect: When you read 1 Corinthians, what gifts jumped out at you? Do you see yourself in there?
- Reflect: How are you using your gifts to serve the body of Christ and to be on mission for Jesus? Do you see yourself as part of the team?
- Pray: Ask God to help you discern what your spiritual gifts are and how to use them for his glory.
NEXT STEP: Ask a pastor at New Hope to help you discover your spiritual gifts.