A Message from Pastor Matt

June 9, 2017

Church News

I’ve been thinking a lot about the gifts of the Holy Spirit lately.  The scripture lessons for Pentecost Sunday reminded me that we are not just called to be the church, but that God has given each of us certain gifts to share with the world in service of Christ.  The apostle Paul lists those gifts in his letter to the church in Corinth.  Here’s a concise list taken from 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13:

Speaking Wisdom

Speaking Knowledge

Faith

Healing

Working of Miracles

Prophecy 

Discernment

Speaking and Interpreting Tongues (languages)

Now it’s tempting for me to simply tell you to pick your gift and use it, but my hunch is, if you’re like me, it’s hard to imagine the Holy Spirit being upon you giving a gift, let alone claiming one of these gifts as your own!  Such claims can feel arrogant or self-serving.

Putting aside personal inhibitions and reservations, the fact is that God has called and will always call and gift people for doing Christ’s work in the world.  There are plenty of stories in the Bible about ordinary men and women being called to do extraordinary things for God.  These people become prophets, kings, apostles, and special messengers for God.  Their lives, while instructive and inspiring, can also be intimidating as we think about how we can serve God.  “Surely, I can’t do what Mary or Paul did!” are often the kind thoughts that run through my mind when I think of great figures of faith in scripture.

Lest we get too discouraged, the Holy Spirit has placed ordinary people in our everyday lives who show us how God is at work in our world.  Hopefully you can think of an individual or two whose wise words bring comfort and perspective to a chaotic situation.  You likely can think of some folks whose knowledge make work go smoother or bring resolution to problems.  Undoubtedly you know a healer or two, someone who uses their presence to bring comfort or knowledge to resolve sickness and disease.  We are surrounded by faithful people who God (and we!) can rely upon to share reminders of Christ’s grace and mercy in a hurting world.  We have prophets and miracle workers who find hope in hopeless situations and declare that resurrection is possible because God is present.  And then there are those who have the gift of discernment.  These patient souls journey with us through uncertainty, prayerfully seeking guidance and a way.  The speakers and interpreters of tongues are all around us in this super-connected world of mass media.  They have a knack for translating the good news of the gospel in many different languages and communication platforms.

I have been thinking of you, members of our church family, as I typed out the above paragraph.  Faces kept popping into my head of people I know that have been gifted by the Spirit.  This should come as no surprise, because if you count yourself as a follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit has given you some of these gifts.  The only thing left to do is to claim your gift and use it!  God needs our positive response to continue Jesus’ work in the world.  Are you up for it?

I know you are!

May God bless our journey together!

Blessings,

Pastor Matt

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