ScriptureJesus told them still another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this.  A woman takes some yeast and mixes it with a bushel of flour until the whole batch of dough rises.”  (Matthew 13:33)

Meditation:  I was not a very good steward of my piano-lesson days.  I didn’t practice enough!  (Great thanks to Judy Fiske and Ryan Corbitt and others who were and did!  You bless us so much.)  But God didn’t get angry and give up on that part of me.  One day the Spirit encouraged me to offer up what little bit of ability I did have to be used for God’s Kingdom.  The young boy in the Bible with the little lunch of loaves and fishes came to mind:  with Christ’s blessing the boy’s meager gift ended up feeding several thousand people, with baskets-full left over.  This story encouraged me, even though I knew in my heart that my musical ability was about the size of a minnow!

Several weeks later I saw a longtime member of Fredericksburg Baptist Church who, for many years, had been involved with the church’s Special Friends class for adults with cognitive disabilities.  He asked if I played piano.  I told him I wasn’t very good, but that I played a little.  The class needed someone to play, and I agreed to give it a try.

Well, God took my little “musical minnow” and somehow made it grow like a batch of rising bread dough.  With many wrong notes and all, God turned the music into a thing of great joy for the Special Friends and for me.  Sunday after Sunday we would “raise the roof” with praise for Jesus, singing, “Jesus in the Morning,”  “Do Lord, Oh Do Lord, Oh Do Remember Me, “  “Jesus Loves Me,” and “I’ve Got the Joy,  Joy,  Joy,  Joy Down in My Heart,”  to name just a few selections.

No matter when I would arrive in the class, early or late, the Special Friends always greeted me with joyful enthusiasm.  Other teachers, friends, and guests enjoyed the same heartwarming reception.

George Will, the well-known political commentator and columnist, has a special son about whom he once wrote a column in Newsweek magazine.  He wrote that his son and others like him have a special, outstanding ability for joy!  Like George Will’s son, the members of the Special Friends class have a special ability for joy, and surely they have been teachers in this gift of the Spirit on many occasions.  

Prayer:  Lord, help us to give more of both our very small and our larger talents and gifts to You.  Thank You for the joy in our lives.  Forgive us, Lord, when we forget all that You have done and are doing for us daily.  Forgive us for becoming complacent about the greatest gift of joy — Your Son.  Amen.

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