A Word from Pastor Stefan
God – Sightings
Recently I attended a workshop where the presenter talked for 45 minutes about God – Sightings. I was intrigued, so I started to look for my own God – Sightings. I was amazed at what I started to see. During a home visit to one of our church members, I learned that she had many God – Sightings in the past weeks of her life: people visiting her sharing support, food, kind words, and their time. Our church friend is going through a very difficult time in her life. She shared with me that God is sending all these people into her life, and they are like wings that lift her up when she feels down.
During a walk with our new puppy, Coco, I noticed several people standing and gazing up into the sky. Some had cameras with big lenses and others used their phones to capture what they were seeing. Well, I looked up too, and noticed an amazing sunset with an array of colors - red, orange, violet and many shades of blue. The sky was a masterpiece of art. For me it was a powerful God – Sighting.
I read about a woman who saw a man in a wheelchair at an outdoor concert, along with his wife. At the start of one of the songs, the wife started to dance with her husband in the wheelchair. She moved the wheelchair gracefully. They turned in circles together, moving to the music, pirouetting
During our Good Friday drama, I was sitting at the table with Jesus and the disciples where I could observe all that was going on. There was Jesus surrounded by his disciples all dressed in traditional clothes to celebrate the Passover meal. Food was shared, and Jesus talked to his disciples (in this case children from our Sunday School) about baseball, sports, and things they are interested in. The disciples were comfortable talking to Jesus, and I noticed how polite they all were sharing food and water with each other. Things changed when Jesus got up and invited the disciples to follow him to a place where he could wash their feet. Some accepted, while others declined the invitation. I was surprised to see that after the “accepting” disciples got their feet washed, they invited other people in the room to get their feet washed, too. I was one of them. Getting my feet washed is not something I am used to. It was a humbling experience, leaving me feeling as though I should do something good for someone else. I saw that some of the disciples enjoyed washing others’ feet and other disciples not so much. We are all unique. Some of us find joy in serving others, others like to fix things, others are good listeners and like to be more in the background, and others like to be upfront.
When I observed these unique and different disciples, I thought about our church. We are all unique, too. We have different gifts and interests, some of us are very active in the life of our church and others are busy working, raising children, or doing other things. Some of us are interested in sports, in painting walls, in welcoming people, in reading and reflecting on big thoughts, in the art of music or drawing, while others like to plant and see things grow.
St. Paul describes some of our unique, God-given talents and gifts in his letter to the Romans. In Romans 12, he writes, “We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.”
St. Paul describes the church as one body in Christ. We have many opportunities to build up this body and become aware of our unique gifts and talents, and to use them to bring honor to God.
On Easter morning, we announced that we are offering a new position at the church, “Coordinator of Equipping Ministry.” This position will help us to identify our unique, God-given gifts and will guide us to use these special gifts and talents to share God’s love in many unique ways. I had people in my life who helped me to figure out my gifts and talents and encouraged me to use them. I am very hopeful that we will find the right person who will have the gift to work with individuals and groups to discover the many talents God gave us and equip us to use them for the good of God and God’s people.
We are able to seed fund this position because of your generous giving to our Vision 2020 campaign.
Paul says, “Let love be genuine and hold fast what is good; love one another with mutual affection and outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9)
Thank you for your participation and support of our mission here at Christus Victor and beyond.