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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Ephesians 4:1–16

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.” (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. (NRSV)

In addition to my role in children’s ministry, I serve as the handbell director at Fourth Presbyterian Church. The handbell choir is made up of twelve people that perform on five octaves of handbells. Each ringer is responsible for at least four handbells, some up to eight or ten. The ensemble reads off of what looks like piano music, and each member rings their assigned bells whenever it is notated on the staff. Handbell ensembles are some of the most unique musical groups with which to perform. In a choir or orchestra, the musician typically has a line of music to follow within the piece, while in a handbell ensemble, each musician has to place their handful of notes into the musical line. One has to be aware of the purpose of their note: Is it in the melody? Where does it fall in the phrase? How does my note relate to my neighbors’ note in the musical line?

Each of my handbell musicians bring a different skill to the table. Some are experts at treble bell techniques. Others have strengths in bass ringing. While we all may be playing the same instrument, we need people with abilities in a variety of techniques to be successful.

We all have different talents and abilities that we bring to our church family. Some of us are teachers. Some of us are musicians. Some of us are caregivers. It is so important that we all use our gifts to glorify God and to show God’s love to others. From the small child serving as the beadle in worship, to the elders and clergy, we can work together in unity to show our community God’s love.

Loving God, I am grateful for the gifts and talents with which you have blessed me. Help me to use my gifts to the best of my ability to show your love to others. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

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