Family Camp, Superheroes, & Spiritual Gifts
This past weekend children, teens and adults joined together for our All Church Family Camp where we learned about how our spiritual gifts make us God’s superheroes. And when I say superheroes, the first thing we think of is Superman, Spiderman and Wonder Woman. But we moved past these people with the miraculous gifts of flying, climbing walls and super strength, to the gifts God gives us of kindness, love, helping others and smiling.
Spiritual gifts are a unique and special part of how God made each of us. They shape and form our careers, free time, hobbies and communities without us even realizing it. For example, a person might be an artist because they have an eye for seeing the beauty in things the way another might not. A teacher has a way of explaining the American Revolution that makes a teen feel like they were fighting alongside George Washington. Or a child is able to explain the complications of life in simple and matter-of-fact ways.
But these gifts go beyond the basics of everyday life to help us do the work God has called us to do. The artist sees the beauty in the desert, paints it and helps us non-artistic folks give thanks for the beauty of the cactus. The teacher blesses us by teaching teens when we think history seems boring, and the child makes our complicated and full lives simple so that we might enjoy God’s pleasures. Each person has their own gifts to share and we all have gifts to receive.
The church provides lots of opportunities for us to use our spiritual gifts - from teaching Children’s Church School to volunteering at Andre House, helping in the office to taking pictures at special events at the church. I hope you all have found a place to do that (if not please call me I will find you a place to share your gifts.) :-)
The challenge, I think, is seeing our whole life as the work of God in us and through us. Each simple slice of our life is a part of God’s work in us. The thing that makes us God’s heroes is when we take those spiritual gifts and use them to do Jesus’ work. This means using your gift of listening to spend time with a friend who needs someone to talk to, the gift of organization to keep sanity in our life and others, or the gift of helping others to support a person in need.
This morning the song Do Something by Matthew West came on the radio and the lyrics push us to go beyond seeing our life introspectively, to focus outwardly as God’s heroes. In the song, Matthew West challenges us to get up and do something about the hurt, brokenness, and lack of love in the world instead of just learning about it or talking about it. More often than not, we struggle to believe that we can do much about war half-a-world away, racism that plagues our country and illness that destroys life.
But we can by living and using our spiritual gifts. In the music video of Do Something, people from all ages, backgrounds and cultures hold up signs of what they are going to do. Some are life goals like "adopt", "fight for justice", and "heal the hurting." Others are one-day or one-hour challenges like "rebuild" and "feed the hungry." But the ones that you can do today are as simple as laugh, love, give a hug and pray. These spiritual gifts make a difference in the world.
My questions to you are “What will you do?" "How will you use your spiritual gifts?”