On Sunday we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus’ apostles and other followers, empowering them for ministry. We think of Pentecost as the birth of the Church. The readings for the day, as well as much of the focus of our liturgical celebration, emphasize the working of the Holy Spirit.
This brings us to our topic of conversation for the evening. One of the readings for Sunday was taken from Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth. In it he presents a list of “gifts of the Spirit”:
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
We’re first going to talk about the list of gifts that Paul gives us. What do we make of them, and do we see these as remaining relevant to us today? We understand what prophecy, miracles, and healing mean in a biblical context, but how do they manifest themselves now? And what about tongues and their interpretation? And what is the purpose of those gifts anyway?
Next, we’re going to consider our own gifts, and those of others. Do we ever think of ourselves as gifted? And if so, from whence do those gifts come? And what are we to do with them if we identify them?
We’ll talk all about it in our conversation this evening. Join us for the discussion beginning at 7pm at Casa Real in downtown Oxford.