On God and Disability

Dan Vander Plaats was interviewed by the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship. The interview was conducted in preparation for a presentation (by Dan Quist and Dan VP) at their annual Symposium on January 31, 2014.

Farmers and gardeners notice how often the Bible talks about taking care of the land. What Bible stories or promises stand out for people with disabilities?

You naturally notice verses where Jesus comes across people with disabilities. Lately I’ve been drawn to verses that have nothing to do with disability, such as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Both are about encouraging and equipping believers. Why I’m drawn to them is that there’s no asterisk, for instance “*unless you’re poor, disabled or have a mental illness.” These verses apply to everyone. So, a church that is only equipping those who are polished is not fulfilling God’s call to build up believers.

The ‘building up’ is not always what God is doing in the life of a person with disabilities. It’s also what God is doing in you and your church to enfold, support and connect with people who have disabilities. If we believe these are covenant children, as we said at their baptism, then how are we making it obvious that everyone belongs?

You can read the rest of the interview by clicking here. Thanks for sharing the 5 Stages!

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