ECCLESIOLOGICAL ETCHINGS May 9, 2023 On Sunday, we talked about Spiritual Gifts. Those who came to worship, received a small gift box (see below). Before everyone opened them, I made sure to dampen expectations. It was nothing too exciting. It was simply a tool to reinforce the idea of what it means to unwrap the gift or gifts God has given us. For some folks, it is crystal clear and requires very little focused energy to perceive the gift. But for most of us, it requires some intentional discernment, as Spiritual Gifts do not always align with what we do for a living or some other skill we use on a regular basis. In Romans 12, the Apostle Paul writes how we are not to conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so that we may ‘discern’ the will of God. The Greek word we translate as discern is: dokimazo. It is when you prove something by testing it and seeing if it passes. The discernment most helpful when exploring Spiritual Gifts is to test things out, try one on for size, take it out for a spin (or whatever other metaphor speaks to you). Prayer alone might reveal what you are seeking, but most folks I know who have unwrapped their Spiritual Gift and felt as if it was truly what God had gifted them to do, were those who unwrapped it and tried it on for a while. Like any gift, we may learn that we liked it, but wasn’t quite the right size. The good news is that you don’t need to return the other before trying on something else. Of course, when we are talking about Spiritual Gifts, anything you try is not going to be bad. Even if your primary Spiritual Gift is not Compassion, for instance, but you intentionally practice it for a while, the impact on the world is probably positive. Give it a try!
Assist me, O Holy One, as I do some exploring by practicing and listening, by putting a gift into the world, and by trying to discern with your help. Be patient with me while always nudging me if I become complacent. Amen.