Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Gifts Differeing

Yesterday my sermon was about the gifts that God gives us.  We can use these gifts in sinful and in redeemed way.  One of my gifts is to get things done ahead of schedule.  I am the type of person who wants to get things done well before I need to.  That can be very positive—it is very seldom that I miss a deadline.  I never had to ask for an extension on an assignment when I was in school and I never had to pull an all-nighter to get an essay completed—indeed I don’t think I could do that if I had to.  I write my sermons early in the week and don’t have to worry about them as Sunday approaches. 

However, that can also be a negative.  It does not give me an opportunity to address issues that arise later in the week.  For instance, on Saturday Lorna and I attended a workshop on Celtic Prayer which was put on by the Diocesan Anglican Fellowship of Prayer. The workshop provided a great deal of material about the subject and I could have very easily written a sermon just on Celtic prayer.  Another issue last week was of course the wildfires in Alberta that continue to worsen and are raging out of control.  That was a situation that calls for sermons to be preached and prayers to be prayed and action to be taken in response by faithful Christians.  As I was driving to my first service of the morning I was very aware that I was missing an opportunity and a great need to address these areas of need in church (prayer) and in the country (disaster relief). 

I was able to address both these things in the first part of my sermon and in the prayers of the people.  I also noted that we all have God-given gifts and are called to use them as God intends to do God’s work in the world and respond to the need that is so prevalent today.
In my sermon I talk about using the Enneagram means of knowing the gifts that God has given us and how it helps us see how they can be used in sinful and redeemed ways.  I find this helpful in knowing myself and how I can better use the gifts God has given me.  I am a NINE in the Enneagram.  I did not expound on the characteristics of the NINEs in my sermon and thought to give I would take this opportunity to do so.  I am drawing on the work of Richard Rohr.  Give thanks to God for your gifts and give thanks in all things. 
Type NINE: The Need for Peace: NINEs once knew that reality was all about love, all connected, operative, and effective. They knew a kind of optimism and motivation that all could be worked out and fixed because God is Love. Love changes everything; love resolves everything. Russ Hudson emphasizes that the core of the NINE is about being itself. The primal knowing of the NINE is that "I am. I am a manifestation of God. 
The NINE's passion or root sin--sloth--emerges from the loss of this oneness. The NINE feels, "I don't exist, I don't matter, I'm nothing, I'm not real. I'm peripheral. I'm disconnected from everything. I'm a little insignificant nothing. (All egos feel that on some level.)  Sloth in NINEs is really the lack of focused energy. NINEs don't put out any energy that lets you get a handle on them. It's the attitude of checking out, because at the center of the gut triad, NINEs feel life is just too much. NINEs seldom take initiative in relationships or in projects. They need a fire lit under them. 
NINEs are peacemakers. They avoid conflicts. Their gift of accepting others without prejudice makes people feel understood and accepted. NINEs can be unbiased arbitrators because they can see and appreciate the positive aspects of both sides.  Then the virtue of the NINE emerges which is, surprisingly, decisive action. At first NINEs waiver and hesitate, putting off everything. But when they reach a decision, it happens in a moment of absolute clarity. They know in a flash what's involved, and they will do it, often quite well--and look anything but lazy or slothful.  Daily Meditation Richard Rohr May 6, 2016

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