The pastor approached Carl. Putting his arm around Carl’s shoulder the Pastor asked, “Carl, would you give some prayerful thought to leading one of our small groups this spring?” Without a moment’s hesitation Carl replied, “Oh Pastor I couldn’t do that. I don’t have the gifts to lead a small group.” “What do you mean?” the pastor asked. “You work well with people. You’ve got a good understanding of the Bible and you are serious about your faith.” Shaking his head Carl said softly, “No pastor, I really don’t have any gifts.”
Peter could have used Carl’s excuse, “I’m sorry, I’m a little short of cash right now. Catch me tomorrow when I come for afternoon prayer.” Peter didn’t though. Instead he used what he had, his faith and the power of the Holy Spirit. Using the gifts that he had Peter transformed a man’s life. The lame man’s feet and ankles were made strong and he was able to walk. The man didn’t just walk, he jumped for joy.
Some of us may be more gifted than others, but none of us have all of the gifts that exist. Neither is there any one among us who it totally bereft of gifts. As disciples of Jesus we aren’t called to use gifts we don’t have. Like Peter, though, we are called to use the gifts that we have received in order to serve others and transform lives.
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.