I’ve been scribbling little notes throughout the week, working my way around a thought that I don’t want to diminish because it is our ballast – it is this deep understanding of who you are – your unique gifts – your “you” that the world has been gifted with only once – right here, right now, in your terrain, in this moment of history.
God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits…..
All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when. I Corinthians 12 – The Message
And in a different translation…
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
So let me share a few thoughts this morning – these musings are not fully developed – but I’m sensing some urgency to send them out and let them land where they need to be.
1. To be sure, this is both amazing gift and deep responsibility – I am the Kingdom, you are the Kingdom, the Kingdom is in us. We are the scattered seed, the leaven, the light shining on a hill.
2. We each are walking around with a specific outpouring, a “mezcla” that the world has never seen before and will never see again.
3. While our families and friends and past experiences and temperaments and personalities all cast light on who we are, the deep who we are is settled with our Creator.
4. George MacDonald spoke to this in one of his sermons this week – this sense that there is no competition in the Kingdom, only holy ambition to live fully into the gifts we have been given.
5. Most of this is private, hidden work with God. He is the shaper of our souls, the artisan who is calling forth what He created – everything else is periphery – this is why it is critically important that we have time in His studio, listening as He encourages and chides us.
6. I often tell young parents that children learn to read BY READING – there is no substitute – if you want to develop as a reader, you have to READ. I think that truth applies here as well. We learn our gifts by using our gifts. If you want to shape your life, you invest it – you pour it out, you use it. Remember all our work with the Parable of the Talents? Burying gifts in the dirt for safekeeping is NOT an option.
7. Be careful of spiritual leaders that somehow leave you feeling that in order to succeed, you need to be like them. No. “Success” is being you – it is God’s mighty hand stretched over you, saying, “You are my beloved, on you my favor rests.” You need nothing more.
And so we go out into the world this week – a world aching in the midst of such pain and evil, a broken world. Fear is a dark shroud, we need not live in fear. Light always clears the darkness. We respond by loving our neighbor, by pouring out our gifts, by being present to the amazing life we have been given on this particular day.
Onward my friends.