Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Seventh Day of Christmas - Gift Day

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit - this is what is gifted to us today as our song begins its downhill journey - The thing is that because the accommodation that creates it looks to the Catholic Catechism, which teaches that they are:

Wisdom - Understanding  - Counsel or Advice -Knowledge - Courage - Piety - the Fear of the Lord

My first thought when I saw the words 'Gifts of the Spirit' took me to 1 Corinthians 12:

'Brothers and sisters, I want you to know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
You know that at one time you were unbelievers. You were somehow drawn away to worship statues of gods that couldn’t even speak. So I tell you that no one who is speaking with the help of God’s Spirit says, “May Jesus be cursed.” And without the help of the Holy Spirit no one can say, “Jesus is Lord.”

There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given by the same Spirit.
There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. There are different ways to work. But the same God makes it possible for all of us to have all those different things.
The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all.
To some people the Spirit gives the message of wisdom
To others the same Spirit gives the message of knowledge.
To others the same Spirit gives faith.
To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing.
To others he gives the power to do miracles.
To others he gives the ability to prophesy.
To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. (Discernment)
To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. (Tongues), And
To still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages (interpretation of Tongues).

All of the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives them to each person, just as he decides.'

This chapter, having continued by speaking of the fact that we are all functioning parts of the one body (the Church) concludes with:

'Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 
And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping (or administration), of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 

Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.'

This is the reason that we find some lists that speak of the 'Gifts of the Spirit' contain Apostleship, Teaching, Help, Administration and Counselling (Wisdom) - and have fourteen rather than the seven (which is two sevens so we've done twice as well!).

The key with the Gifts of the Spirit is to understand that they are not badges of authority or pride but roles to be sought, taken up and used for the 'Common Good' - they are things that build and unite, not separate, elevate and scatter.

Happy Seventh day :-)

No comments: