Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Inauguration Day felt like a day that God has wanted for all of its creation and creatures. It felt like a day that Jesus prayed for when he helped a Samaritan woman, healed a cripple, touched the eyes of the blind and allowed officials to nail him to the cross. It felt like a day that the apostle Paul worked towards, when Jew or Greek, rich or poor, free or slave, women and men could stand together in peace. It was a day that Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of when he fought for equal rights for all people of the world. It was a day as Alex Haley said, “A day to recognize good and praise it.”
On Inaugural Day our children were safe at home. I have prayed that no one harms another, whether by their fist or with words or with a weapon. Inaugural Day was a day to hold each other in solidarity. Within each one of us, we have the power to make this day a reality, not just every four years but each day we wake from sleep and before we lay down at night. God needs all of us to be our best and to do our best in every situation that we find ourselves by using the gifts that God has given to us.
It may seem that we are out of the season of gifting; in actuality, we never are. We are always a gift to our families, workplace and community. The key to a joyful life is to discover your personal gifts and put them to good use in the service of the Lord.
Recently I heard an interview with Bette White, who turned 91 in January. Whenever you see her, she is so happy. Nothing seems to get her down except when she thinks of her husband, who has been gone a long time. She says that what she does is not work because she loves what she does.
“And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles?
Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?” (1 Corinthians 12:28-31, NRSV)
Not many of us will be in a position to be president but in each of our own ways, we can make a difference. The apostle Paul reminds us that we are all part of a body and within that body, there are many parts/ all have value, all have particular gifts. The key is to discover our gifts so that we can use them in the most powerful way.
Each person’s particular gift enhances the whole. The goal is to put people in the places where they can best express their gifts in a positive way. The key to living in community is to understand that no one person can or should do it all. Every organization works best when each person understands that we are part of a team. In my mind, we could never have too many people who are organizers, musicians, cooks, repair persons, computer experts, financial experts, writers, artists, scientists, singers, philanthropists, introverts, extroverts, thinkers, doers, nurturers, caregivers, teachers, bookkeepers, directors, actors, evangelists, prophets, apostles and healers. We are not just ordinary; we are extraordinary in God’s eyes! Our Inauguration Day could be the day when we make a new commitment to serve the Lord with all that God has given to us so that we could work together in peace, love and faith. May our work together in 2013 be a blessing to us and be a glory of God!
I thank God for you,
Pastor Kathy Nealand
Discover Who You Are for use with teenagers and adults.by Jane A.G. Kise, David Stark and Sandra Krebs Hirsh
Equipped for Every Good Word; Building a Gifts-Based Church by Dan R. Dick and Barbara Miller