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The Rev. Robert Hart: On the Gifts of the Spirit

July 31, 2008

For the Tenth Sunday after Trinity, the Rev. Robert Hart of the Continuum blog posted this sermon on the Holy Spirit and I thought this portion was really something to think on:

The Holy Spirit is in you, and His gifts are so many and varied that often you may be unaware of His working through you. This is where the ministry of the clergy is not, emphatically not, meant as a substitute for the rest of the Body of Christ in a given time and place. Rather, it is partly for your edification, the fine-tuning and cultivation and organizing of the gifts that already have been placed within you, that God establishes the ordained ministry within his holy Church. You do not get off the hook, you are not being put out of a job, and you do not get to retire and put your feet up, just because you have deacons, priests and a bishop. Most true believers, of course, do not want to retire from our shared mission.

All of the Old Testament language in today’s Gospel, about the things that make for your peace, about the day of visitation, speaks about Christ sending His Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, to be a living presence and witness in the earth through His Church. That is, you, the Body of Christ in a specific time and place. You can say that Jesus is the Lord with all your heart. And, you have gifts that you have not even imagined, gifts which already are in you that may become discovered, strengthened and even perfected. For this is the time of visitation, when the things that make for their peace, peace with God, must be proclaimed and presented to those yet dead in trespasses and sins, and to those failing and faltering in their faith. We all have our work cut out for us; it is only for us to discover and fine-tune the gifts of the Holy Spirit so as to put them to use.

If we are going to truly realize the fulfillment of our calling as Christians in serving our Lord, we do need to discover and use our gifts of the Spirit in His service. May we all pray that the Lord will help us seek to know and use these for His glory. Thanks to Fr. Hart for sharing this with us.

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