Thoughts for the Day

Wednesday, 8th December 2021: What are your gifts?

Helping others Prayer Ember Days 1 Peter 4 Gifts

Reading : Verses from 1 Peter, Chapter 4

Offering help

The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


I started my sermon on Advent Sunday with the words "The end of the world is nigh!" to remind us that our readings are about the 'end times' - that is the time when Jesus will return as a Judge. Advent encourages us to look seriously at the state of our soul, our commitment to God, and our future.

Today is an Ember Day - these are quarterly periods of prayer and for many people, of fasting, particularly for those in ministry. They occur every quarter during the year in Western Christian churches, and this week they occur today, and on Friday and Saturday.

Our reading from the first letter of St Peter asks us to use our gifts to help others. This does not necessarily mean money, it means the things we can do! This will be different for each of us, and we have to do it within Covid restrictions. If we have spare time it might be to do something practical, eg shop for someone; or visit someone on their own (even if we have to stay outside their door). If we have spare money it might be to provide food or shelter for those in need; to invite someone else to a meal or for Christmas.

Notice the reading says we are to 'serve one another with whatever gift each one of you has received'. What are your gifts - what special things can you do? Now is the time to give God's gifts away!


Heavenly Father,
You give and give again to us
with generosity and love.
May we use the gifts that You give us
to help others,
not just at this season
but throughout the year,
remembering that Your Son,
gave up everything for us.

Follow Up Thoughts

Look at 'Ember Days':

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