The Presbyterian Church (USA) has recently added the Confession of Belhar to its Book of Confessions. It came to us from the church in South Africa, written during apartheid. During this advent, we remember that Jesus was born to a family living on the margin of society. This confession was written by people living on the margins of society. It speaks of hope, unity, justice, and reconciliation.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, who distributes them to each one, just as the Spirit determines.
Text from the Belhar Confession:
The variety of spiritual gifts, opportunities, backgrounds, convictions, as well as the various languages and cultures, are, by virtue of the reconciliation in Christ, opportunities for mutual service and enrichment within the one visible people of God.
NOTE: I’m following the Advent devotional booklet published by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.