Gifts and stuffposted by Little Mo | Permalink |
A very challenging sermon about what grace means in practice at church today. You can listen to it here
Great stuff - the Gospel frees me to love by absolutely making sure that I don't think of myself more highly than I ought! No more building my identity on trying to be better than others!
Almost as an aside Steve raised the issue of gifts and how the Bible doesn't really seem to expect us to spend time sitting round considering, going on courses or filling in questionnaires about our spiritual gifts. Rather, it seems to create an expectation that you just do it.
Someone asked a question about that, and Andrew helpfully added that we need to be careful not to impose our society's obsession with self fulfilment onto the word. You see there is a problem of definition here:
Our definition: a gift is something that God gives me, that I am good at and which I enjoy which can, if I so choose, be used for the benefit of the church.
Paul's definition: a gift is something God gives the church that you can do for the church. (As Andrew said, you might hate it, but it could still be your gift)
This isn't simply hermeneutics 101. It actually makes a difference.
You see, of course, if you think a gift is the former, you'l have to spend lots of time self analysing to find out whether it is, indeed your gift. AND, you'll be a total nightmare to any church that can't find a place for you to do what you're good at. Meanwhile Rome burns.
If its the latter, you won't think of yourself more highly than you ought, using the church as your tool on the journey to self fulfilment, rather you will see a need that you can fulfil, have a heart filled with sincere love with those who have the need, and serve them. That's Spirit empowered worship!
The Gospel is clever you see, it actually changes us so that we form the community God wants, by forcing us not to think of ourselves and our gifts more highly than we ought. Clever, innit!
ETA: I'm actually finding the way that this disgusting present picture clashes wth my blog quite pleasing.