Our financial planner is wonderful about this. She said things like, “We meet the client where they are.” And “that’s Ok, it just means I have a job.” And then she said something I thought it was interesting for a financial planner to say on a Monday morning, she said something like, “We all have different gifts, I couldn’t write a sermon, if I had to.”
Our financial planner is both skilled and gifted at what she does. She has developed the skill of reading numbers and keeping up with market trends and our wishes. But she also has something of a gift of communication. I understood just about everything she told us. I’ve had other planners who just were not able to balance her developed skill and knowledge with the gift of helping others understand something that is both difficult intellectually and emotionally.
This Sunday our scripture is from Paul’s letter to the Romans where he talks about “spiritual gifts.” Chapter 12 verse 6 says, “We have gifts that differ according to the Grace given to us.” A spiritual gift is different than a skill set. It is first of all given, not taken. It is unwrapped or discovered or received; not so much earned. A spiritual gift is something that is natural, authentic; a genuine part of you. You don’t have to force yourself to use a spiritual gift, it comes out intuitively; sometimes they sneak out as if you can’t hold them in even when you try. Spiritual gifts must also be nurtured, encouraged, developed.
As you prepare to come to worship or even right now in the moment you are reading this; what do you think might be a spiritual gift that has been bestowed or given to you? Discovering and describing, nurturing and using our spiritual gifts are what helps us to make a vital church.
There are several work books and other ways to name and describe our spiritual gifts and we may at some time venture into a study for our congregation. But for this Sunday I simply want to ask you to faithfully consider - what is something about your life in our congregation that you are drawn to naturally? I don’t mean that because you might work with numbers that you would be on the finance committee, or that if you are a contractor you would be on Trustees. Those are skills and there are certainly areas of our life together that may need to take advantage of those skills.
What I’m asking is for you to think about where your real passion lies. You may be the accountant who loves to sing or ring bells. You may be the social worker who cannot get enough of being with little kids. You may be the lawyer who is drawn to the little things that make hospitality shine. You may be the salesperson who cannot help but talk with people. There are many gifts here at EPUMC and how we name and claim, nurture and develop them is one of the most important parts of being the body of Christ together.
Keep the Faith! - Pastor Dan