Word of the Week

"What brings you deep joy?"

"What stirs up in your happiness that is long-lasting?"

"How do you feel God has gifted you for service in the Body of Christ?"

Such have been questions our adult Sunday morning class has been considering over the past two Sundays in our "Congratulations, You Are Gifted!" class. January in worship and in all aspects of church life is focused this year on calling and spiritual gifts. We're even having a special community gathering on Friday night (and Chili Cook off too) to talk over all of this in an informal setting. We're claiming that the life of discipleship is all about first knowing ourselves and in the authenticity of God's gifts to us serving others accordingly. Biblical texts such as I Corinthians 12-14 and Romans 12:1-10 have been keys to this study.

Yet, what I have found in teaching is many folks really don't know what brings them deep joy and some have never studied spiritual gifts before. So, we've been starting with the basics. Beginning with detecting clues about what makes each of us tick, what moves us and what our aspirations for our future might be.

We began the discussion Sunday with everyone sharing their answers to some fill in the blank questions. One of these was: "Movies, songs, books, art, experiences that have touched me the most are…"

Though I didn't answer it in class, if I did, I would go to first to the song, "Say"  sung by John Mayer. It is a ballad I sometimes listen to on Sunday mornings in effort to gear myself for preaching. It is good not to be afraid to say what I need to say. It is good to be filled with confidence that no matter what God will find a way to speak through me. I'm sure Mayer was not thinking of the preaching task when he recorded this, but for me, he is:

Take out of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all your so-called problems,
Better put them in quotations

Say what you need to say [x8]

Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living up the same old moment
Knowing you'd be better off instead,
If you could only . . .

Say what you need to say [x8]

Have no fear for giving in Have no fear for giving over
You'd better know that in the end
Its better to say too much
Than never to say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open

Say what you need to say [x24]

I look forward to what the next two sessions of our "Congratulations, You Are Gifted" class will offer all of us. My hope is that all of us find a way to "Say what we need to say" about our own lives and begin to live into our calling and spiritual gifts as a community.