The Gifts of the Spirit and You
The good news of the Bible is that God loves creation and is working out the redemption of the world through human beings. God is the true ruler of the world as creator, through Jesus as the messiah and redeemer, and through the Holy Spirit as the incarnation of the Godhead in human beings redeemed and set about God’s work.
We often struggle with the idea that God loves us as individuals, but the larger truth is that God loves humanity and the cosmos. Christians are those human beings who have been reborn and baptized into God’s family, restored to freedom and eternal life.
God’s Spirit then flows through individual Christians to equip the body of Christ (Christians as a community knit together as a family with Christ as the head, like a first-born son). God loves the community through you.
The gifts of the Spirit then are best understood as God’s Spirit moving through you to love his children and church and equip it for the work of redeeming the world.
Examples are instances of healing and tongues given in a moment for someone else through the person who “has the gift.” They really didn’t have the gift for themselves but for the other person.
Understanding Who the Spirit is
The Holy Spirit is usually the least understood person of the Trinity because we cannot conceive of the Spirit as a person as we do with the Father and the Son, even though we know that the Father is Spirit (1 John 1,2). The Spirit’s portrayal as a dove is not especially helpful either.
The Spirit has no body but the church, your bodies and mine. The Work of the Spirit as the third person of the Holy Trinity is done through you and me. We are given gifts to do that work of calling, redeeming, teaching, equipping, and going out to offer love through care, feeding, and lifting up of God’s family and world.
You are part of the Holy Spirit’s work here at Christ Church. Let the Spirit work in you and through you to do beautiful things here in our parish and around the world. God loves you and the world placed into our care, and God wants you to be the hands the Spirit uses to feed us, his people, and care for our world. For we are heirs of this amazing inheritance of the children of God
The Rev. Daniel P. Richards
Christ Church of the Ascension
Paradise Valley, Arizona