I am thankful for the opportunity I had to lead worship services for people with varied physical and intellectual abilities.
I witnessed people who could not walk, blessing others by reading Scripture or praying, sometimes with unintelligible words. People who could not talk stepped in to give hymnals to latecomers and introduced newcomers by pointing and smiling. One gentleman always shook my hand after the service and said, “Thank you for being our preacher.”
They knew Jesus loves them and returned thanks to God by offering their whole selves in worship, illustrating Romans 12:1 (NRSV):
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
All of us are invited to receive God’s love in a personal sense, and to make a difference in this world. God invites us to respond by saying “thank you” and “yes” to God’s good ways for us. All of us have gifts to share, even during a global pandemic. God even uses our weaknesses and pain to touch others with his love.
Please follow me and join the conversation. What are you thankful for?
Here is a coloring picture I created of a little girl with Down syndrome and her friends. My Leader’s Guide on Communion also includes TIPS for including people with varied abilities. These resources are found in my website store, at: BarbaraBjelland.com
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