This coming Sunday is Pentecost, the day in the Church year during which we remember the powerful coming of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts:
When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them. (Acts 2:1–4, The Message)
Jesus the Christ had ascended back to the Father; he was no longer physically present to his followers. But he had promised the Holy Spirit, and now the Spirit made a dramatic entrance, filling the room, filling the believers.
They were given the instantaneous ability to speak other languages. In the following verses, we learn that “there were many Jews staying in Jerusalem, just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world.” And they heard, “one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken.” Here, in a nutshell, is the principle behind spiritual gifts. When the Holy Spirit gifts us, in whatever way, the purpose is not only for our own building up, but for the good of others.
This is why we are wise to consider the impact of our gifts on other people and on the world as a whole. As we search ourselves to discover our gifts—whether they’re overtly spiritual or fall in some other category, such as music, architecture, or business—we can’t consider those gifts fully until we factor in what they will give to the world.
In Wednesday’s post, I’ll talk more about gifts. For now, let’s consider what we do that makes life better for others. I’d love to hear from you . . .