Monday, February 20, 2006

Jacob and the Ballerina

Each week Jacob has a packet of Daily Work to complete. He is not alone. Each member of the class has his own set of work to finish. As the oldest student, Jacob’s is the most complicated.

One of Jacob's tasks is to proofread and correct a set of paragraphs for four days, then on Friday write a fifth to complement the set. This past week’s set was about a gifted young girl, Maria Tallchief, the famous ballerina. After reading and correcting the four paragraphs Jacob wrote a response to that particular connotation of what it means to be gifted.

Lots of people are gifted by baptism. Jesus gave forgiveness of sins by dying on the cross. That is what people are gifted with.

Jacob clearly recognizes that while no gift is to be taken lightly and the unique ability of a dancer such as Maria Tallchief should be celebrated, there are gifts such as those of vocation, and then there are the Gifts which deliver Christ, which are His Word and Sacraments. God gives us our vocations and, because they come from Him, can be received as the gifts they are. However, that is not the same as saying that it is our vocations which save us, when in fact it is Baptism that now saves. There is a distinction to be made. Jacob re-located the source of the "Giftedness." When he did, he clarified a distinction: Maria Tallchief is gifted, but without Baptism, no one is truly Gifted.

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