No Gift Too Small

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

 

I was on social media a couple months ago and came across a post that shocked me.  It shocked me because you can sense by the tone that she was hurting.  Her tweet basically said that she has nothing to offer to the church.  This post was heartbreaking, and it had me wondering how many other people within the church may feel like this.  A priest responded with reassurance that she has a gift that nobody else in her church may have.  The next response was from a Southern Baptist pastor who said that there is no gift or deed to small, and that God can use anything for his glory.  It was encouraging to see over two hundred comments encouraging this individual.

What is the point of all of this?  In today’s passage we read that the Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different people.  No organization can function if everyone was doing the same thing, and the church is no different.  We all can’t be pastors or teachers.  Yes, sometimes those gifts get all the attention but if you ask any pastor, they would say that there is so much more going on behind the scenes than people may realize.  This was the point of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian church.  Charles Spurgeon once said that the greatest gift that one could give him was to pray for him.  We can certainly do that a little more, thee are things in the church that can always be cleaned, Sunday School to be taught, ushers, greeters, and people to put together the bulletin.  There is no gift that is too small, and every gift is needed.

So what gift do you possess that could be used for the benefit of the church?  At the church I grew up in there was a woman named Delores who greeted everyone with a smiling face.  She made everyone feel welcomed, and when she passed to her eternal reward over 500 people attended her funeral.  Her story is a perfect example of something that seemed small, but had a huge impact for the kingdom.  Perhaps your gift is the same.  Let it shine and let God turn it into something that helps bear fruit for his kingdom.  You have a gift that we all need and the Lord will utilize it in a way that you can’t even begin to fathom.

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus I humbly asked that you take the gift I have and use them for your glory.  Help me to understand what my gift is and submit it to your service.

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Gospel Reflection: Go Into All The World

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.-Mark 16:15-20

Today we celebrate the ascension of the Lord.  With his earthly mission now complete Jesus has some last words for his disciples.  He tells them to go and preach the Gospel to every creature.  Mark phrases slightly different that Matthew and Luke.  In Matthew’s Gospel Christ tells the disciples to go to all nations and teach them all that he commanded and to baptize in the name of the blessed Trinity (Matthew 28:19-20).  Luke’s version takes place in the first chapter of Acts, and he writes that Christ commanded the disciples to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and the rest of the world (Acts 1:1-11).

These were the last words of Christ on earth and they were significant.  When we lose a loved one we remember the last words that were spoken.  We remember them and we cherish them, and we try to fulfill their last wishes.  We should do the same with these last earthly words of Christ.  After 2,000 years the church is still spreading that Gospel message as Christ commanded, but what are you and I doing individually?

We have a tendency to think that this is the work of our priests and deacons, but spreading the Gospel is the duty of all of us as disciples of Christ.  Are we taking these words of Christ seriously?  This doesn’t mean that we have to go overseas.  We can be that witness at work, with our families at home, and in our neighborhoods.  May we go forth today and spread the Gospel as Christ commanded.

 

Quote

The minute you walk outside of your church on Sunday you’re in mission territory.
Bishop Robert Barron

Gospel Reflection: We all Need a Helper

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you.”- John 15:26-16:4A

We all need a helper.  From the beginning of creation God said that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18).  In today’s Gospel passage Jesus is telling the disciples that the world will hate them because they hated Christ.  Sometimes we tend to forget that the disciples were Jews, and because they followed and proclaimed Christ they were excommunicated from the fellowship of Israel.  They were not able to go into the synagogue and worship as they had always done.  This was serious business, and it becomes even more serious when one looks at the Rabbinic interpretation of Numbers 25:1-13 in the Talmud.  The rabbinic tradition says that apostates were to be killed as a sacrifice to God.  Yikes!

What does all this have to do with us today?  Just like the disciples we are in need of a helper.  Christ has not left us as orphans, but loves and cares for us.  The Holy Spirit was sent from the Father and the Son to be of advocate and comforter.  Just as with the disciples the Holy Spirit will give us courage to live in a world that has a growing hatred for Christ and his Church.  Take heart and have faith.  Christ is with us until the end of the age.  The Holy Spirit will help us testify to the person of Christ, and stand up for what is right.  Go forth today in the peace of Christ, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide your steps.

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Quote

Enrich your soul in the great goodness of God: The Father is your table, the Son is your food, and the Holy Spirit waits on you and then makes His dwelling in you. — St. Catherine of Siena

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