Giftedness and Grace

Richard Dawson, 29 October 2019

I am amazed at the talent we have in this church from old to young,
professional to artistic, women and men, recognised and retiring – we have some incredibly gifted people in this community of faith. Some of you are using your gifts in your career, others exhibit them in a less formal way and some just bring them out occasionally when asked, to the delight and amazement of we lesser mortals. Giftedness at once lifts an individual above the crowd. They can do things we can’t. They can see things we can’t. They can think and perform in ways which we find hard to imagine. This age is the age of the gifted individual – we make movies about heroes and heroines who are essentially gifted individuals – this is why the Marvel series has such attraction. It seems, at times, as if there’s nothing a gifted person cannot do and yet… this is not the case. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that giftedness hides all the normal (and sometimes abnormal) human weaknesses we are all familiar with. Self-doubt, fear, obsessiveness, addiction, jealousy, envy, lust and worse. And while we may see the ‘shiny side’ of these people, those who perform for us, whatever they do, often struggle to find the honesty and the safe place they need to confess their human failings. One of the key functions of a Church is to be a safe place to confess before God who we really are; to bring to God all of the failings and mistakes we make week by week. This is perhaps one of the more difficult things for us to do and yet do it we must for if we don’t, then all we have to rely on us is ourselves and when this is the case we know from history that no form of human giftedness can save us.

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