January 2017 Message

Everyone is Needed

Pastor Ron Wiese

Recently, a member of Messiah had his appendix removed. Medical people are still trying to figure out why babies are born with an appendix, something they don’t really need. Perhaps there are times when we feel we are like an appendix, not really needed by others. That is especially true in a large Christian Church like Messiah. It seems like everything is taken care of for us:  preachers, teachers, nursery personnel, ushers, custodian, etc. So how are we all  needed? We may say: “I can’t teach or work with the youth. So I’m not very important.”

The Apostle Paul reminds us all in 1 Corinthians 12 that by God’s grace we are all part of the Body of Christ, the Christian Church. We became a part of that Body through our Baptism, and we have become recipients of God’s gifts of faith, hope and love in Jesus Christ. Each of us has also received special gifts from God to use to His glory and for the common good of the Body. 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4 provide just a partial list, a list where there is no ranking of importance, no neat categories, no exhaustive list. The only criteria for the use of these gifts is that they are given by God for “the common good” in the Body of Christ.

Barbara Streisand made popular a song which said: “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” That’s the Christian Church, that’s Messiah congregation, a place where we are all family, needed and cherished, from the very young to the very old. As the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:26 “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”

So how do we discover our place in the Body of Christ called Messiah Lutheran Church? One way is to follow an acrostic called “START.” This stands for:

S    Study God’s Word and other Christian resources regarding spiritual gifts

T    Trial and error, where we discover our gifts by simply trying different activities

A    Analyze or review what we are doing to see if follows our passions and uses our gifts

R    Request a response from others on what gifts they see us having

T    Training or mentoring from others who have been using such gifts in their service to God

Over 100 members of Messiah completed the new “Serving the Living Lord” survey form, indicating where they want to be in service to the Lord in 2017 through their participation in Messiah’s ministries. If you did not complete a form, but still wish to offer some of your gifts in one or more ministries of Messiah, pick up a form at the Welcome Desk in the church lobby. You can return your completed form by placing it in the offering plate on a Sunday morning or mailing it to the church office.

In the Body of Christ, everyone is needed! A pastor was visiting an invalid who felt that she had nothing to contribute any more. He took her hands into his and said: “You still have a ministry – prayer.” In this New Year, may God lead and bless each of us as we find and celebrate our place in the Body of Christ.