Reflection presented as part of Tertulia 2013.  Tertulia 2013 is Council for Hispanic Ministries-New England Regions 2nd annual meeting.  This year we decided to continue our intimate, transparent, open and honest discussion among our Latino/Hispanic leaders and friends about Sexism, Classism, Racism and ONA issues as it relates to this year’s theme: Authentic, Accountability and Actualization.  It is our hope that this Tertulia helps us enhance our understanding of what it means to be UCC amidst our rich cultural and theological diversities; and helps us engage in a discussion about the paradigm shift in our society and within our region.   What does it mean to be in covenant with each other in CHRIST’s love and embrace our denomination’s Transformative Statement of Faith in a God Still Speaks world?

Luke 12: 42-48 (Matthew 24: 45-51)

REFLECTION Peter Parker was bitten by a radio-active spider, his life changed. From being a studious young man who avoided trouble, he changed to a person who welcomed the fight. His Uncle Ben, reminded him that “with great power comes great responsibility!” That message changed his life…he realized his new super powers were to be used responsibly. He had a responsibility to use them for good.

But there is something missing in that equation. Peter Parker did not have a mentor, or a leader to teach him to use his gifts wisely. Uncle Ben was the only one to recognize the need to be a responsible steward of that gift, but he died. The radio-active spider never spoke or educated him, so poor Peter Parker had no one to call him out, no one to hold him accountable. We don’t have that issue. In Luke 12:48b, the Lord says, that for “every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required. Accountability!

Our gifts come from a loving God that has our names and stories tattooed in the palm of his/her hand. Those gifts that God gave us, they are meant to be shared, and God will hold us accountable for them.

Sometimes we forget that those little things we have going for ourselves, those hidden talents are gifts from God. We choose how and when to use them, but they were gifted to us for a reason.

Imagine what our church, our UCC, would look like if rather than hiding those talents at home in our local church, or in our immediate community we dared to share them with the wider church? Just imagine the diversity of worship that could exist if when invited to contribute a dish to the next church potluck, we were to bring some arroz con guandules. Those gifts that we were gifted, whatever they might be, are meant to be used, they will help others see who we are, what wonderful things our God can accomplish through us!

I invite you to take stock of your gifts and find new ways to use them for the betterment of God’s kingdom. Your God given gift(s) are to be shared. Remember, that you are responsible for administering that gift.

PRAYER God, thank you for the gifts you gave us, thank you for giving us mentors to guide us. Most of all thank you for the gift of accountability. I know that this gift, that is growing within me, is yours and for your kingdom. I ask you continue to give me the necessary tools to use this resource wisely. Amen.