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Tuesday Morning Tidings 9 27 2022

Dearest Members of Bethlehem,

“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” -1 Corinthians 12:7

A couple weeks back I preached a brief homily on the text that appears above. In that moment of proclamation I assured those listening that every person is “gifted” and indeed has something to share with the whole body of Christ, for the sake of the common good.

It didn’t take long for the inquiries to come. Faithful members who have contributed greatly to our community asked an honest and heartfelt question, “Maybe so Pastor Dan, but what are my gifts?”

I tried to provide a faithful answer in the moment, but discerning our gifts takes time, prayer, and conversation.

What I would like to suggest this morning is that you don’t overlook the obvious. Let me put it this way: I recently talked with someone that shared they genuinely enjoy phone banking.

Do you know what phone banking is? It involves calling folks, you likely have never met, and striking up a conversation. Now, when I hear that, my first response is, wow! Really? What a gift! And that same person might very well respond with, “Oh no, it’s not hard at all, no big deal, it’s fun!”

And there it is, so often the things that come naturally to us, the things we enjoy and are most passionate about… we can assume everyone else finds those same things to be easy and enjoyable too. But that’s not necessarily the case, the things that come “naturally” to us are likely indicative of the distinctive gifts we have to share.

Furthermore, please be reminded that there is little difference between placing a generous contribution in the offering box, fixing the sink in the kitchen, participating in worship with passion, leading a devotion during a congregational retreat, or sending greeting cards to other members. Any one of these gestures of service may come easily to you, but each of these expressions of service are valued greatly in the life of our congregation. None is greater than another, all are important, and every gift that is shared enables us to realize that special thing that Saint Paul called, “the common good.”

Question for reflection: With stewardship month right around the corner, this might be a great time to ask, not only what your gifts happen to be, but what you like to do. Answering that latter question might enhance your enjoyment of the life of faith.

This week at Bethlehem:

On Wednesday our Bible study continues as we explore the book of Exodus. We will offer a 10:30 morning session and a 7:00 evening session. Please consider joining us!

On Thursday evening, our Women’s Bible study starts at 7:00.

On Saturday morning, our church clean-up events begins at 8:30. On Saturday evening, we will share in worship at 6:00.

On Sunday morning we will offer worship at 8:00 and 10:30. Sunday School begins at 9:15. New member orientation begins at 11:45. Our Confirmation Dinner (for confirmands and their families) begins at 6:00.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dan

Gracious God, give us the ability to know the ways in which we have been gifted, encourage us to risk and share for the sake of the Gospel, and renew our spirits when we grow weary of serving. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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