Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Gifts are for Sharing (1 Peter 4:10)

Daily Lenten Reflection - Friday, 7 April 2017

Week 6: Freed to Serve—Diakonia 

Week 6, Day 6

“Sermons on the First Epistle of St. Peter,” Martin Luther

[E]veryone should pay attention to his qualifications, to the kind of gift given to him. When he is aware of this, he should use his gift in the service of his neighbour.

Gifts are for Sharing (1 Peter 4:10)

Norberto Rasch, Lutheran, Argentina

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received

I live in the world of disability. In my church, I am responsible for carrying out a pastoral ministry for people with disabilities. My son has a disability as a result of an accident. Many people, inside and outside the church, consult me about their loved ones with disabilities. Daily I hear the words “he is not able to do this” and “she does not know how to do that,” especially from people accompanying a person with disabilities, but also from others.

In my church there are many who say “he or she is not able to do this or the other” referring to people with disabilities. It is clear that perhaps the person cannot do what for most of us is easily done in our lives and celebrative worship. The point is that our relationship with God is framed by these simple things. All sing in unison: “they are not able to do it”; we all kneel in the same liturgical act: “they cannot do it”; we all read the Bible, but the blind “are not able to do it”; etc.” We can make a long list of “not able to” and we do not realize we are excluding from the community of faith those who are no less God’s children than the ones with “abilities”.

We could look at many issues in order to see what unsuspected gifts are ready to be shared with us. We preach and teach over and over again that God has given us gifts and we must be ready to share them, and not to be selfish with them. Therefore, why do we often think that people with disabilities have no gifts to share?

Have you ever come close enough to a disabled person and discovered their gift of love, or heard their voice glorifying God from deep inside their heart?

All gifts are to be shared, and no less those gifts with which God has provided people with disabilities. Let us be ready.

“On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee has compiled a collection of Lenten reflections to commemorate the anniversary. The text can be used by small groups or individual, as a Lenten reading or as a resource for the weeks between Easter and Trinity Sunday. We are sharing these reflections daily during Lent, hoping that our common experience of God’s grace may draw our two families of churches closer together in this extraordinary year, and be used beyond 2017 and actually at any time.”