During the season of Pentecost, the focus of our readings in worship, our study and learning, shifts from what Easter means to us as humans to what it means to be a disciple of Christ. It is a natural transition: we are given the tremendous gift of grace in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and learning the best way to give thanks for that gift follows.
We are not unsupported in that effort, however. More than just instruction, we also receive gifts in our lives to help grow into the most faithful, most fruitful disciples we can be. These gifts are often identified as “gifts of the Spirit,” suggesting both their origin in the Holy Spirit and the tendency they have to affect us on our most intimate level.
There are many Scriptural references to these gifts, but the most well-known is the twelfth chapter of 1 Corinthians, where the Apostle Paul refers to “gifts of the Spirit” in verse 1, “gifts” in verse 4 (charisma deriving from charis, or grace), “services” in verse 5, and “working” in verse 6.
There are multiple ways that Christians have identified what the specific gifts are, limiting them to just as few as three to expanding them into the dozens. For the next few weeks, I’ll be going into detail describing several of them in hopes of your growing in your appreciation and understanding of these wondering aspects of your life.
It is easy to think about what we are missing, what is gone or taken away, but this period has revealed many, many abundant gifts from God. Together we can celebrate those gifts as we enter the beginning of the Pentecost season.
Yours in Christ,