Your Gift

1 Peter 4:10 "Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received." (NRSV)

Some churches have a tradition where they pray a prayer of confession during worship each week as a way of acknowledging our humanity and reconciling with God. The prayer might go something like this, "Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone."

The words "what we have left undone" may weigh the heaviest. While we act in ways that are hurtful to others, we can usually name those and work to make amends. But things "Left undone" could be anything. Perhaps we put off our personal spiritual practice for a less-busy week or ignored someone in need because the thought of interacting with a stranger made us uncomfortable. Or perhaps some act of compassion was left undone of which we weren't even aware.

It is significant that we pray this prayer as a congregation. As the scripture quoted above reminds us, each of us has been given different gifts, and each of us is called to serve in various ways. God does not call any one individual to do everything. Instead, God calls us as the body of Christ to use our particular gifts to share God's grace with the world; together, we can accomplish all that God has set before us.

Heavenly Father, we confess that we have fallen short of the mark. Forgive us and help us to use our particular gifts to accomplish all that You have for us to do. Together we can do anything You have set for us to do, in Jesus' name, amen.

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