Who doesn’t love getting a gift?
“Just Because” gifts...
“I’m Sorry” gifts (yes even those count)
...and so on, you get the idea! Each gift expresses a personal thought or feeling from the giver and is usually intended to be a blessing to the receiver.
Gifts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are wrapped with different colors of paper, different kinds of bows, or they might come in gift bags! Each gift has a specific purpose for the receiver. No matter what the packaging and wrapping are on the outside, (because let’s face it not everyone is an expert gift wrapper), it is NOT the gift! A beautifully wrapped box or container that is empty can be very disappointing. All of what we see on the OUTSIDE adds to the element of surprise and thoughtfulness of what is INSIDE!
People are a lot like gifts! They too come in a variety of shapes and sizes, have their own unique external colorful or plain wrappings, and come with or without bows. They too, contain something with a specific purpose on the inside - MORE GIFTS!
Each of us have been given gifts, skills, abilities, and talents! Each of them is intended for use and has the potential to impact the lives of others for good! Let me give you an example:
A few years ago, I had the privilege of being the choreographer for our local Christmas outreach at the largest venue in our region. We worked with people from more than fifty churches in our community over the course of a year to plan and pull all of the details together, including three months of weekly rehearsals leading up to the performance and every night the week of the outreach. We were working together in pursuit of excellence with a combination of all kinds of giftings with strengths being encouraged and weaknesses being covered with the purpose to bless all in our region with the Gospel message and the gifts of love and peace!
For the dance team alone we had:
- to have pre-recorded music for rehearsals
- to have a place big enough for as many as fifty dancers to rehearse in
- a team of choreographers to help determine skill levels in the audition process without turning anyone away that wanted to participate.
- to work together with dancers of different skill levels to assign them to dances where they could shine in their strengths
- to create five to seven dances that were able to be taught, tweaked, and polished within a twelve week period
- dancers from age eight all the way to sixty-two
- people that were brainstorming with us for appropriate costuming, taking everyone’s measurements so that they were being made had to fit each dancer comfortably
- people that made props appropriate for certain dances
We had people helping us once we were at the venue with quick costume changes; security; seamstresses for any costume repairs; directors to tell us when to go on stage; people holding flashlights backstage so that we wouldn’t fall and hurt ourselves in the dark; first aid for people if they got injured or sick; people that brought water and prepared snacks; people to load and unload trucks of sound equipment, lighting rigs, and staging; people to build and decorate the stage; cameras and operators; communications and technical equipment!
Needless to say it was a HUGE undertaking that required many different giftings, but more than that, it required people who were willing to use the gifts, skills, abilities and talents that they had been given by God!
I am deeply grateful for the faithfulness and dedication of EVERYONE:
the leadership team, donors, churches, musicians, choir and vocalists, children, directors, actors, writers, producers, stage director, technical team and directors, marketers, hospitality team, dancers, camera operators, costume designers, prop designers, builders, the light and sound technicians, prayer team, stage designers, and the audience!
All of us used the gifts that we had to be a
GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING!
It is now a cherished memory in the hearts of those who gave and a blessing to the hearts of those that received!
ONLY GOD could bring us together for a common goal!
ONLY GOD knows the full impact that we saw through the eyes
of hope with the potential of the gifts that He has given His children
to be used for good!