Spiritual Gifts

This week as the temperatures rose, we were giving a reminder of what summers in Chicago are really like; a surprising reminder after a cool spring.

With the warmer weather, comes the job of dusting off the winter debris. I want to thank the 20 plus volunteers from DGFUMC who joined in cleaning up a stretch of the St. Joseph Creek as part of the annual DuPage River Sweep last Saturday.

Tonight I am attending our Chancel Choir year-end banquet. I love singing in choir. We at Downers Grove First UMC have one of the finest church choirs. That doesn't happen just with rehearsals, but also because we have a skilled director in Dianne Hires and a top notch accompanist with Pattie Barnes. It comes with carefully selecting pieces that are not just in the range of our abilities, but sometimes require us to stretch those abilities. So if you love to sing, and are willing to grow your vocal talents, please think about joining us on Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. when the choir starts up for the fall season.

This week as we join in worship for our Together @ 10 service, I want to focus on Spiritual Gifts. Perhaps you've seen them listed in the New Testament, but these lists are not exhaustive. When we read scripture, we have to do what we do when we read people.

First, when you meet someone you get to know that person. How and where did you grow up, etc. In other words, we have to understand their context in order to be friends. The same thing occurs when reading the Bible. We first have to give it distance. Let it say what it said to its original context. The spiritual gifts listed in Romans, Ephesians and Corinthians were gifts that Paul saw as needed for the advancement of ministry in those churches. So for today, the list gets larger and different as the context of ministry is changed.

We all struggle with living significant and meaningful lives. Meaning is something that grasps us when we give a gift a unique part of ourselves to a need outside of ourselves. So in the quest for meaning necessarily comes the giving and sharing of gifts.

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