The Third Sunday after Pentecost

June 13, 2021

Order of Worship:

Today we continue in our short series talking about the persons of our Triune God, specifically this week, we’re focused on the Holy Spirit. We pray that same Spirit would open our hearts to the lessons of the Word:

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

  • On the first day of 7th grade, I joined the band. Some of us could already read music, but many couldn’t. Some were naturally more talented and had a better ear than others. Some committed to extra practice and rehearsal time, some only touched their instrument for the hour a day we were in class. It doesn’t take long (especially not with middle schoolers!) for a social hierarchy to form; the trumpets thought they were better than the trombones, the flutes thought they were better than the clarinets. But when it came time to play in our first concert, our director reminded all of us that it took every single part to play music. This is the same kind of analogy Paul is using with the church in Corinth throughout chapter 12. “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it,” he says in verse 27. Paul is telling them that there’s no space in the Church for some believers to think they are above others, because we’ve all been saved by grace and each of us has been given different gifts that we need to work together in harmony. What is the ‘social hierarchy’ of the Church supposed to look like? Have you ever encountered believers who felt they were “more Christian” than others? How do you respond to that attitude?
  • “Now there are a variety of gifts, but the same Spirit…” verse 4. Do you feel you’ve been given any of the gifts Paul mentions in verses 8-10? Are there other gifts and talents you have that aren’t mentioned here? How do you recognize and use your gifts to serve the Lord?
  • Paul reminds the Corinthians that gifts of the Spirit are given for a purpose: “for the common good” (verse 7). In a culture that tells us to look out for ourselves, how do we live this alternate narrative? How do we know or discern together what the common good is? Are there times when what is best for others might not benefit you personally?
  • To return to our band analogy for a moment, whether you play a woodwind or a brass instrument, it’s the same air that allows you to make music. The Holy Spirit is frequently referred to in scripture as a ‘wind that blows where it will’ (Genesis 1:2 & John 3:8) or the breath of God (Job 32:8 & Ezekiel 37:5), and we live because we share in that breath (Genesis 2:7 & Psalm 104:29-30). Take a few minutes to practice a ‘breath prayer.’ As you inhale thank God for something (the air in your lungs, the sunshine outside, the singing of birds, the life all around you); and as you exhale ask the Spirit to guide you through the day (“show me where you’re working, Lord” “strengthen my service to your kingdom” “teach me to follow your will”).

May the Spirit refresh and restore you this week as you seek to serve the Lord!

-Pastor Maggie Rust

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