Sunday, January 04, 2009

On Gifts and Discernment

This morning we celebrated Epiphany, the day when we read the story of the Magi visiting Bethlehem. And so I have been thinking about gifts.

It is my belief that part of the power behind the story Matthew tells is that the Magi, knowing that something special and powerful and unique has happened/is happening, know that they have to mark the event somehow. And so we have gifts shared.

This morning I did some discussion about the symbolic value of the 3 gifts in the story. ANd then I raised the key question. What gifts do we bring? When we meet God active in our world what gifts are we motivated to share?

Earlier (at children's time) I had told the story of the little drummer boy (interspersed with some drumming). And so I used him as the example. So many times we claim that we have no gift to offer. ANd yet so often the same people who claim to have nothing to offer are very busy sharing their gifts.

And so the challenge is two fold. One of the challenges is to know that we have gifts to share. ANd the shadow is to name what we do "just cause" as a gift.

ANd for me the community has a role, a big role to play on both sides. The community has a role in helping people recognize what gifts they have. That in fact is how people get involved in community/church work. Most of us get involved (paid or unpaid) because someone comes up and says "I think you would be good at this" or "would you be interested in..."

THis is something we have to start doing better. WE have to do it better in our churches and in our communities. WE have to feel freer to encourage/incite/urge the people around us to recognize the gifts they have to share (and that they are in fact gifts and not "just something I am doing"). Only when we do this will we start to grow new leaders. Only when we are intentional about growing new leaders will we be able to thrive.

What gifts do you have to share with the world????

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