"Using the Gifts"
July 6, 2015
So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them .... Romans 12:5-6a
Here is a list of movies: Titanic, Star Trek II, Cocoon, Aliens, An American Tail, The Land Before Time, Field of Dreams, Glory, Legends of the Fall, Braveheart, Apollo 13, and Zorro. Can you tell me what these movies have in common?
The one thing these films, and many others, share is their music was composed by James Horner. Because of his genius, Horner's name was never really out of the news, as one success was followed by another. This is why the movie community, and much of the world, mourned when Horner's life was ended in an airplane crash last month.
Last month's passing of 79-year-old Donald Featherstone in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, achieved no such global acknowledgment. Indeed, I would imagine not one in a hundred of the Daily Devotioners would recognize the name: Donald Featherstone.
But you do know his work.
Donald Featherstone was a classically trained sculptor who worked for the Union Product Plastics Company. In that capacity, in 1957, Donald Featherstone designed pink lawn flamingos. Although Featherstone designed hundreds of other plastic products, it is the National Geographic-inspired lawn flamingo for which he shall always be remembered. And rightly so. The sale of more than 20 million flamingos has left its mark on America's minds and yards.
Now you may wonder why Horner and Featherstone are featured in today's devotion. There are two reasons:
1. Both brilliant Horner and the less-acclaimed Featherstone are sinners who needed a Savior. That Savior is Jesus Christ. It is He who has come into this world to save the famous and those who are less so. In fact, Jesus came to save every man, woman and child who has ever lived.
2. The second reason they are here is that both men used their God-given talents to the best of their abilities.
That's something for us all to remember. The Lord loves us all and has blessed us with salvation through His Son's life, crucifixion and resurrection. More than that, He has given various gifts to each of us. Some of us are blessed with gifts which are public and applauded, while others have received gifts that are private and less conspicuous.
That's the point St. Paul was trying to convey in Romans. He wanted God's people to use whatever gift(s) they have been given to the glory of God, the great Giver.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, send Your Holy Spirit upon me so I may be thankful for the gifts You have given. Further, let these gifts be used to show my appreciation for the salvation which also is a blessing sent by Your hand. This I ask in my Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries