Today we celebrated Pentecost at Priestfield by concluding our series on Stewardship. So far we had looked at our stewardship of creation, our relationships (on Christian Aid Sunday, so especially with the poor), our money and finally it was time to think about our stewardship of the gifts the Spirit gives. You can find the PowerPoint at http://www.priestfield.org.uk
But on Pentecost, it’s important to think about the gift of the Spirit before thinking about the gifts of the Spirit. The wind and the fire in Acts 2 tell us about the breath of Life the Spirit gives, and the journeying holy presence of God with us that guides us and burns up the dross to make us more like Jesus. The Sprit may be a gentle breeze sometimes, but perhaps is more likely to be a howling gale, blowing away the cobwebs, refreshing us and empowering us.
In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul reflects on the nature and purpose of the gifts the Spirit gives, but as those who read this passage in very different circumstances and culture we have to ask questions that help apply his teaching to my life in my time.
What gift(s) has the Spirit given to me? Maybe others can help me identify them.
Am I using them for the common good and not just for myself?
Am I using them with acceptance and humility – without either a sense of inferiority or superiority?
There is, however another question we need to ask – one that looks to the future and the ministry of our congregation.
What gifts does our church need at this time? We need to pray that the Spirit will give them to us, enabling to fulfil our local calling.