Monday, June 15, 2015

Each Doing What They Can Do

I am a Downton Abbey fan. No really I am—I own all the DVDs. I like to listen to (watch) them while I sew and recently heard again this wonderful quote from Season 3:  "Every man or woman who marries into this house, every child born into it, has to put their gifts at the family's disposal." (Tom Branson, Downton Abbey, Season 3, Episode 8) He then goes on to say that Downton will thrive if they can manage to pool all the gifts, each doing what they can do.

I used to be in awe of those “super” Christians I know or have heard about. Those who give their life to Christ’s ministry in service as pastors, evangelists, missionaries, healers… studying the Bible all their lives to relay God’s message with authority, to be used by God in such powerful ways, they really have to be close to God. At least, closer than me. Right? 

Not really. These people are just that—flawed human beings who are living each moment of the day wondering “what next” just like you and me. They make lots of mistakes and sometimes are just as rebellious as I am. The only difference is the gifts God chose for us. They may speak from pulpits with microphones or in a foreign land in a foreign language they’ve worked really hard to learn or pray in the Spirit so powerfully that miraculous things must occur but that doesn’t mean that my gifts are any less important or necessary to the furthering of God’s kingdom.

Today at the church I work at, we are gearing up for the first night of VBS. Even before the kids step on campus, many of us have been working behind the scenes to make sure we are ready for their arrival. Maybe we are just cutting out Bible buddies or putting stickers on 200 bags, or setting up tables and chairs, or gathering alarm clocks and rubber chickens, or learning songs to teach the children this week, or gathering and preparing food for each night’s dinner…we are all doing what we can do, pooling all our gifts together to see God’s kingdom thrive and grow a little this week in the hearts of 70+ children and their families. Those things don’t sound like anything miraculous and really they aren’t. But when God’s Spirit takes all these seemingly insignificant things and with his power turns them into God sightings and stirrings in little hearts and a newer understanding of God’s love for each and every one of us in Christ, all of a sudden, we are part of something bigger than just setting a table—we are welcoming strangers, breaking bread with them, loving God’s children and sharing our faith with them. Isn’t that what discipleship all about? And how much more of a miracle do you need than to share the presence of God with another?

Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.  (Ephesians 4:7-16, Selected, The Message)

1 comment:

Audrey said...

A lot of truth in this post.I'm ashamed to think about all of the times I thought of reasons I "couldn't do it". We all have our jobs to do for Him and His Kingdom here on earth. I wish I had truly embraced that more often over the years.