The Rector Revd. Emma Rutherford writes…

Dear friends,

Have you all done your Christmas shopping yet?

Do you take a lot of time to choose gifts for your loved ones?

Think about a gift that you have spent a lot of time planning and saving for. You give it to that ‘special someone’, and when they have received it, they either discard it, or leave it in the box and don’t use it.

I wonder how you would feel?

We are reminded in 1 Peter 4:10

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grade in its various forms.”

Imagine how God must feel when he gives us great gifts and talents and we don’t use them as we should. The Lord has given each of us a wide variety of gifts, and expects us to use those gifts in his service and to build his church. It is not acceptable to put those gifts at the back of the cupboard, so to speak, and simply ignore them.

Surely there is nothing more satisfying that using our resources, our gifts and our abilities for the purposes of God? He made us and wants the best for us, and EVERYONE has talents.

Maybe these are some of the gifts/talents you have?

Accounting, Administration, Art, Design, Discernment, Drama, Evangelism, Encouragement, Flower arranging, Generosity, Handyman skills, Hospitality, Helping others, Inspiring others, Leadership, Motivating others, Music, Pastoral care, Planning, Prayer, Teaching, Showing compassion, Singing, Skilled craft, Speaking, Writing… (This list could go on and on!)

When God gives you a gift or talent, he expects you to use it. If you don’t, you’ll lose it. Like the ‘Parable of the Talents’ that we recently looked at in Matthew 24:14-30, if you don’t use what God has given you, he will take it away and give it someone else who will.

I cam across this quote by Rick Warren: “You are a manager of the gifts God has given to you.They may be great or small in your eyes, but they matter to God. ‘Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful’ (1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV). When God made you, he made an investment in you, and he expects a return on that investment. Are you using what He’s given you for the benefit of others? Or are you just using those talents to benefit yourself?”

I would love you to take some time to think about the gifts and talents that God has given you, and the passions that he has set in your heart.

Have you the gift of encouragement or listening? perhaps you could visit the housebound…?

Have you the gift of administration? Perhaps you could help with some of the office work?

Have you the gift of communication? Perhaps you could help with the parish magazine…?

Have you the gift of intercession? Perhaps you could commit to pray for others…?

Why not take some time to slow down during Advent and the Christmas season, spent time with God, and prayerfully consider how you can serve your church and local community.

Give thanks to God for the many good gifts he gives to all of us.

Throughout Advent and Christmas our primary focus is on the greatest gift of all – the gift of Jesus Christ – the Saviour of the World. He is the ‘reason for the season’!

Thanks be to God.

Wishing you and all those you love God’s richest blessings this Christmas and New Year.

Yours in Christ,

Emma

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