From Pastor Leigh - Don't be a silent bird

“Use what talents you possess; the woods will be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” -Henry van Dyke


How easy it is to hide our light under a bushel.  To think that what gifts we possess are not enough or just plain useless.


But did it ever occur to you that the abilities and talents you have are just what are needed here and now?


Some of the most haunting words posed in the Old Testament came from Esther’s uncle Mordecai.  Facing possible death when she approaches the king, Esther receives a message from Mordecai which says, “Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews.  For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish.  Who knows?  Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for such a time as this.”


…for such a time as this.  These confusing days have all of us scratching our heads.  But if we take a step back, perhaps we can see how our particular gifts and graces fit into the many faceted jigsaw puzzle that is our life.


The spiritual gifts survey that we took a while back helped us see the giftedness of Grace UCC.  These gifts are, of course, of tremendous value in the church, but also in our everyday lives.


In the workplace, our neighborhood, even in our own families these gifts can help us navigate the twists and turns of life.  On a larger scale, we may be called to act for the greater good, using our particular gifts for the furtherance of the kingdom of God.


It may seem to you, as it may have for Queen Esther, that you are not quite up to the job in certain areas of your life.  But the fact that you are in the midst of whatever the situation may be, suggests that you are the right person for the task at hand.


Even in the darkest of moments, we need to remember that we have been put on this earth for the good and the bad that life offers.  God exists even in the most puzzling and painful situations.  The fact that God is there suggests that the solution is there as well. 


Just because you believe that your gifts don’t compare favorably with others doesn’t mean that your gifts are any less than another’s or that you shouldn’t even try to use them.  Each person’s gifts have a unique way of being expressed in the world, meeting a unique need.  Your gifts are vitally important.


Whether a bird in the forest, a queen, or a regular person, we need to make use of our gifts so that the forest is melodic with our collective song, the world becomes a place of justice for all, or our everyday lives become richer and deeper.  Celebrate your gifts and the God who gave them to you.