As I think about gratitude Sunday, I often reflect on how Marble Collegiate Church, has been such an important aspect of my life from the very beginning. I have had the wonderful opportunity of growing up in the church and learning early about our Family of Faith. Being present with my church family on an ongoing basis, I recognized that they were always encouraging and cared very much about the future of the children who were growing up in our church school. They financially supported many of our endeavors to allow us the chance to succeed. This gave me confidence, taught me values, and helped to shape who I have become as an adult. Until I left for college, I attended church almost every week and the consistencies I learned there helped me manage my four years away at school.
I can truly say, church and Marble church in particular, has been instrumental in my journey as a Christian, a professional, a friend, colleague and in all the many areas of my life. It was the first place where I understood the true meaning of loving your neighbor as thyself.
In many of his sermons, Dr. Arthur Caliandro, our former senior minister, often talked about life and how we live as individuals. One of his most poignant sermons that I can recall, asked two specific questions.
“If you were to be at the gates of heaven and God ask’s, “What did you do with gifts that I gave you? and ”How did you love?”
These two questions can be answered differently for each of us, but the following is how I often reflect on the answers. God’s gifts to us are many and varied and can include our time, talents, finances, and the host of people who are part of our lives. The first question coincides with the second, in that we can demonstrate our love to others, by sharing the gifts that we have been given with the ones with needs. It is no coincidence these two questions are relatable, and it helps me reflect on how we are indeed using our gifts for the betterment of not only ourselves but also for the many around us who might be impacted.
Matthew 22:37-39 reminds that we should – love the lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and secondly, we should love our neighbor as ourselves. A clear indication that these are very important values to live by.
As gratitude Sunday approaches let us reflect on the immense gifts, talents, and directions that God has provided to help us navigate life and make a commitment to use them well. “But now faith, hope, love abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13.)
Shared by Monique McKenzie