This Week’s Theme
The Gift and the Gifts of the Spirit
1 Corinthians 12.3b-13
Paul spoke to the Corinthian believers concerning the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit of the Lord. He said that no one who speaks in the Spirit of God ever says, “Jesus is accursed!” Also, no one can actually claim, “Jesus is Lord,” except in the Holy Spirit. He said that although there were varieties of gifts, of service, and of activities, there was only the same Spirit, the same Lord, and the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
Paul claimed that God has given the manifestation of the Spirit to each believer for the common good. All the gifts, whatever they are, whether the utterance of wisdom or knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, the ability to distinguish between spirits, kinds of tongues, or the interpretation of tongues – all these come from the Lord through the working of the same Spirit. Paul said that all of these manifold gifts are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
Paul compared the Christian community to the human body, which even though it is a single body, still possesses many different members, which function together for the good of the whole body. Jesus’s people function like a body. In Christ and through the operations of one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all believers have been made to drink of one Spirit. The Holy Spirit, who himself is the gift of the Father and Son to us, blesses the Church with gifts and anointings, enabling us to strengthen one another and bring glory to God’s name in our lives.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
O Holy Spirit, the Comforter, Who with the Father and the Son abidest one God, descend this day into our hearts, that while Thou makest intercession for us, we may with full confidence call upon our Father; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Mozarabic Liturgy, before A.D. 700. (Fox, p. 60)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Thursday: Pss. 1-2; 10; 33; 71; 91
Psalm: Ps. 104.24-34, 35b
Acts*: Acts 2.1-21
Gospel: John 20.19-23
NT: 1 Cor. 12.3b-13
(Click here for all readings)
*During Eastertide, a reading from Acts is often substituted for the lesson from the Hebrew Bible.
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
O Holy Spirit of God, very God, Who didst descend upon Christ at the River Jordan, and upon the Apostles in the upper chamber, we have sinned against heaven and before Thee; purify us again, we beseech Thee, with Thy divine fire, and have mercy upon us; for Christ’s sake. Amen.
~ St. Nerses of Clajes, A.D. 362 (Fox, p. 231)
Affirmation for the Day
All of the gifts are the work of the one and same Spirit, distributed by him to each one, just as he determines.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Come, Holy Spirit, and demonstrate the wondrous, rich grace of the Father through the gifts and expressions you have given to God’s people, to each and every one.
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Gift and the Gifts of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 12.3b-13
Barrett, None Greater