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Finding Faith: Remember to be thankful

By DIANN BAXELY

Before you read further I ask that you go to the kitchen and get a piece of bread. Go on, I’ll wait…

Do you have your piece of bread? Good! Now think about how this piece of bread came to be in your hand.

Your first answer might be that you bought the loaf at the store. But, how did it get to the store? Let’s follow this piece of bread back further.

It took the sun, the earth, the rain, God’s creation in motion, to nurture the grain of wheat that the famer planted and harvested.

From there, it’s journey into your hand touched probably 50 to 100 people (and I am probably underestimating). My point is, nothing we have in our lives came to us without the wonders of God’s creation and countless people using their time, gifts and talents to make our lives better.

In your busy lives, how many of you take the time to think about all of the gifts and talents that God has given you? Do you take time nurturing and caring and developing these Grace filled gifts? If we are not taking the time each day to nurture our own gifts, then we most likely are not effectively helping others to nurture and care for their spiritual gifts.

Being a good steward of what we have in our lives is not just about caring for financial and material possessions. It includes growing our own spiritual gifts, as well as reaching out, lifting up, and nurturing and helping others nurture their gifts.

1 Corinthians 12:7 says, “the Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all.” When Christ ascended, he sent the Holy Spirit to help us discern God’s Word, help us follow his example, and show us the gifts of Grace we are given to serve all of God’s creation.

These gifts are freely given, but they do not free us from having to work at developing and nurturing these gifts. We need to spend time in prayer listening so the Holy Spirit can show us the meaning of God’s purpose for using these gifts. And, we need to nurture and grow these gifts through worship and in community.

Thank you Lord we don’t all have the same gifts! If we did, our world would be as a car stuck on a round-a-bout going nowhere. This means however, that we need to be good stewards of the gifts of others. We need to recognize God’s gifts to them, and God’s gift to us through them.

Thanksgiving is just a few days away. As you sit down for your Thanksgiving meal, I ask that you think about where your meal came from. Be mindful, and give thanks for all the gifts of God’s creation that went into bringing you that meal: people, places, things. Then, ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern how you might better use your gifts and talents for the good of all.

Blessings for your Thanksgiving, Pastor DiAnn.

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Pastor DiAnn Baxely of St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, Lock Haven.

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