Word of The Day: Gifts


Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13  Feast of Charles Henry Brent, Bishop of the Philippines, and of Western New York, 1929




In the movie, Moonrise Kingdom, one of the main characters carries a pair of binoculars with her every place she goes.  She says the binoculars are her “special power.”  Each of us has been given our own, unique, personalized set of gifts by God, our own customized special powers.  These gifts are to be put to good use, developed and honed for one reason says the author of Ephesians: “…for building up the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12b)  These opportunities to use our God-given gifts for “building up” happen every day, probably many times a day if we pay attention.  But like all gifts or special powers, we can use our gifts for good, or ill.  The gift of sarcasm can add humor and light or can cause humiliation and pain.  We can choose to either diminish or build up the body of Christ with our set of gifts.  Take a moment today and make a list of all of the special gifts you have been given by God.  My guess is that when you’re finished you will have quite a list.  Carry the list with you, like the binoculars of the movie’s main character.  Over the course of the next week, notice when you have used your gifts…were they for the building up of the body of Christ?  See if there are gifts you’ve been given that you aren’t using or that you didn’t use the previous week.  Notice the people in your life that help you to more readily use your gifts, or encourage you to use your special powers.  How could you employ them more often going forward?  How can you better use your gifts to the building up of the body of Christ?


With God’s Peace,


About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Word of The Day: Gifts

  1. I came to the Episcopal Church because, as the Greek Orthodox (my previous Church) would say, it is “bare.” The Orthodox believe they are highly gifted.They are rich in knowledge and acquisition of tradition, and past masters at spiritual mortification or acesis. But I have often been thwarted in my “gifts.” Owing to disease, I have been late and small. I have learned that a simple act of love, real love–i.e. tenderness–is the only gift sometimes I can give and receive. Knowledge is fine. I know a lot from the great pageantry of Orthodoxy. But a simple act of love is neither extreme mortification nor great burden of knowledge. It is “bare.” It could be our hallmark at St. Alban’s. It is the sweetness of the cross described by the Orthodox fathers themselves in their mystagogy. It is the sweetness of the cross in our real earthly lives. It is the sweetness of the cross in each one of us.

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