Lent 2017 Meditation 3
The Gift of Giving
by Revd Paul Le Sueur
The Gift of Talents
Eight American and two English clergy were asked to write down twelve things that they were good at. The Americans all finished long before the English. Had it been twelve things we were no good at, the result would probably have been the reverse. False modesty is difficult for some to put aside, but the truth is that God has blessed each and every one of us with many talents, some of which we have left undeveloped. In the parable of the talents, (Matthew 25: 14–30), two knew their abilities (talents, gifts) and one did not or would not test himself, and received condemnation from his employer.
Christians serve the Kingdom of God in many ways: in church maintenance, in intercessory prayer, in church outreach, and in the community with individuals and through voluntary work with groups and charities.
In Acts 13: 1–2, we read how Saul, Barnabas and several others were busy getting on with their Christian lives, when everything changed. Saul and Barnabas were called by the Holy Spirit to mission throughout the Roman Empire. The Church confirmed this call. I expect they felt inadequate, but God knew they had what it took for this new task. Are we being understretched? What are our gifts and are they being used as God wants? In a growing spirit-filled church there is what may be called, ‘Every member ministry’. In a static or declining church there are many passengers and a stressed-out crew. It is up to us to which we belong.
Questions to consider
- What sort of abilities is our church most in need of at this time?
- Do you feel your abilities are being fully used?
Write down twelve things that you are good at.
In case of difficulty, ask a friend to complete the list. Remember they don’t have to be ‘spiritual’ gifts: dozens of things like driving a car or being a good cook are often very useful in Christian service.
Heavenly Father, whose Son said,
‘I came not to be served but to serve,’
help me to follow his example
and to listen to your leading.
You have come down from the Mount of the Transfiguration and a huge crowd are bringing sick people to Jesus. There is chaos. There are others arguing about Jesus’s teaching. Some are very hostile and want him to move on. Others want to see a miracle. Many are wanting to hear him teach. You are a disciple. Imagine how you feel and what your role would be and which abilities you would be using.
This meditation is available to download as a PDF here: Lent 2017 Meditation 3.