From The Pulpit: ‘We are better together when we use our gifts for good’

Rev. Elzabeth Pagnotta / Senior Pastor, Brandon/Spirit Rock Lutheran Churches

I have always loved Disney movies. My brain is a catalogue of fabulous Disney music, committed to memory.

Now as a parent, I observe my boys, who have taken love for a Disney movie to the next level. When a new movie comes out, we watch it. And because of streaming services, we watch it again, and again, and again. Until we have all the songs and every part memorized.

The current obsession in our house is the movie Encanto. I admit, I thought it was great the first time I saw it. But, even when we watched it again last night for the approximately 35th time, I love it even more. 

Without spoiling anything for you, because you really should watch it yourself, it’s about the Madrigal family. This multi-generational family lives in a magical house and members of the family have been given special gifts; super strength, control of the weather, healing, seeing visions of the future, and more. 

What I love about this movie (besides the fantastic music) is how the family uses their gifts. They are intentional about sharing their gifts with the entire town. They leave the magical house each day with the mission of bettering the community and using their gifts to help a neighbor. And, when the family celebrates an occasion, they invite the whole town into their magical house to be a part of it. 

To me, it sounds just like what Paul is calling the church to be in his letter to the Corinthians. He tells them: You have these gifts, given to you by God. They are not meant to benefit just you, or even just your church. But these gifts are to be shared with the greater community, for the good of all people. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)

This is an opportunity for reflection. What are my gifts? How am I using them to benefit the community? 

Paul gives us great advice for this difficult time. We are better together and when we use our gifts for the good of others. 





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