Unopened gifts

Marti’s birthday was last Sunday, but she hasn’t opened any gifts yet. That’s because she was in bed most of the day feeling under the weather, due most likely to a high degree of pollen in the air from a huge tree in our back yard that sprouts clusters of tiny yellow pollen balls at the end of every branch, and then the bees crawling through those clusters send down yellow rain on our patio floor, covering it with a layer of yellow pollen. (Thousands of bees work this tree from pre-dawn to dusk creating a loud hum you can hear all day. I especially like watching the bees that ignore the clusters on the tree and simply roll around in the yellow stuff on the ground.)

Marti simply didn’t feel like celebrating last weekend, so a planned birthday dinner at our son’s house has been postponed to this weekend, and her presents will wait until then. Marti is careful to point out that this will not be a postponed birthday, at least she will not think of it as that. Her birthday was Sunday, she’s careful to point out, and that day is over, unless we want to celebrate her 2021 birthday a year early. This will be simply a celebration day for everybody, and there will be presents for the grandchildren as well. (There always are.)

Meanwhile, unopened presents remain in the house, and that makes me think of other unopened gifts that may be present at your house as well. I’m referring of course to unopened spiritual gifts that we have all received but many have not opened. Some don’t even know they have them.

Spiritual gifts are one of the most underrated, overlooked factors in the Christian life. Few take them seriously. True, you don’t have to know about your spiritual gifts to be using them, but it does give you confidence and direction as to what you are doing in the body of Christ, and it helps us all to know who to go to for what. But who does this? Who knows what their gifts are, and if they know, who’s using them and in what capacity?

Spiritual gifts are very important to the Catch Ministry because we are an online church and a church can’t operate properly without all the gifts represented in the body being activated. The Catch Ministry is not about me writing an article every day; it’s about you being the church, and you being the church is all about you bringing your gifts to the church body. When we need wisdom for counsel, we know who to go to; when someone needs biblical knowledge about a particular issue, we know who to go to; when we need someone to administrate a particular task, we know who to call. This is why spiritual gifts are so important. They not only help us function, they knit us together. But here’s an important fact we will be bringing up a lot now: We can’t see you. We don’t know where you are or who you are, but you can come to us, and we need you to do that. We need you to take the initiative. Think about how you can serve this body with your gifts and let us know about that.

Many people liken spiritual gifts to some sort of spiritual personality assessment. They may go to classes or take online tests to determine what their gift might be, but once they find out, it’s merely something to add to their knowledge of themselves, and it never goes any farther than that. What good is that? That’s like activating your cellphone and putting it in a drawer.

Here at the Catch Ministry, we’re going to activate our gifts and then put them to work. “How will we do that with an online church?” you ask. Well actually, that’s part of what we will find out and we’re counting on you for a lot of that. We are figuring out a lot of this as we go.

Just think of all those unopened gifts out there. Think of what fun it’s going to be to open them finally! And think of how great it’s going to be to put them all to work!

That’s what I call a functioning church. That’s what I call Rock Solid.

This entry was posted in body life, church, spiritual gifts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Unopened gifts

  1. Dr. Tina West DC, BFA says:

    Happy birthday Marty! John, spiritual gifts unopened do need to be used absolutely. Had to look at mine recently for my Masters of Divinty after these years graduating on My birthday in December 2020! I pray we will be open by November and especially in Oregon too so I can do the pomp and circumstance at Multnomah Biblical Seminary and receive mu Masters drape !

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