Spiritual Gifts -Part 1

Aire Valley Pastorate
Bingley URC – Idle Upper Chapel URC
Trinity, Keighley Baptist & URC

Spiritual gifts – Part one

This is the first in a series of services that I am bringing to each of the congregations in the Aire Valley Pastorate. I am offering you the hymns, readings and prompts for thinking about the theme of God’s Holy Spirit. This is not a ‘polished’ service, because I do not usually work from a word-for-word script, but I hope it will bless you.

Call to worship Psalm 113: 1 – 4
1 Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord. 2 Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and for evermore. 3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. 4 The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.

Hymn Rejoice and Sing 406
1/6 Fill thou my life, O Lord my God,
in every part with praise,
that my whole being may proclaim
Thy being and Thy ways.

2/6 Not for the lip of praise alone,
nor e’en the praising heart,
I ask, but for a life made up
of praise in every part:

3/6 Praise in the common things of life,
its goings out and in;
praise in each duty and each deed,
however small and mean.

4/6 Fill every part of me with praise:
let all my being speak
of Thee and of Thy love, O Lord,
poor though I be and weak.
5/6 So shalt Thou, glorious Lord, from me
receive the glory due;
and so shall I begin on earth
the song forever new.

6/6 So shall no part of day or night
from sacredness be free;
but all my life, in every step,
be fellowship with Thee. Horatius Bonar (1808-82), altd.

Wind rushing God,
today we celebrate Your Spirit’s life giving power
reviving, inspiring, renewing, energising.
Lift us up on the wings of Your Spirit to new heights, to a place where exciting things can happen,
where hope is found and all things are made possible.
Spirit of Truth,
when we find it difficult to feel Your presence,
come to us, invade our lives, displace our comfort,
encourage our confidence, re-awaken our faith,
that we may find ourselves at a place
where exciting things can happen,
where hope is found, and all things are possible.
Wind-rushing God,
blowing where and when You will,
help us to be open for the unexpected.
Lift us up to a place where exciting things happen,
where hope is found and all things are possible once again.
Amen. Nan Maxwell – URC Prayer Handbook 2015

Reading John 20: 19 – 23 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’

Theme – part 1
We are now in the season of Pentecost in the Christian year. It is very important for me that we have an understanding of the life, power and work of God’s Holy Spirit.
I invite you to imagine and windmill or wind turbine; a garden or landscape where the wind regularly blows from a particular direction.

John 3: 8 “The wind blows where it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

You see the effects of the wind … So, it is with the Spirit…

John 20: 21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is a gift of God’s self to each one of us.

Hymn Combined Mission Praise 664
1/6 The Spirit lives to set us free,
walk, walk in the light.
He binds us all in unity,
walk, walk in the light.

Walk in the light, walk in the light,
walk in the light, walk in the light of the Lord
2/6 Jesus promised life to all,
walk, walk in the light.
The dead were wakened by his call,
walk, walk in the light.

3/6 He died in pain on Calvary,
walk, walk in the light,
to save the lost like you and me,
walk, walk in the light.
4/6 We know his death was not the end,
walk, walk in the light.
He gave his Spirit to be our friend,
walk, walk in the light.

5/6 By Jesus’ love our wounds are healed,
walk, walk in the light.
The Father’s kindness is revealed,
walk, walk in the light.

6/6 The Spirit lives in you and me,
walk, walk in the light.
His light will shine for all to see,
walk, walk in the light. Damian Lundy (1940-1997)
© 1978 Kevin Mayhew Ltd

Reading 1 Corinthians 12: 3 – 13 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Theme – part 2
I have observed that when God’s Holy Spirit is mentioned, and especially “spiritual gifts” some people think that is not for me, others are even afraid, and so it is important for me that we seek to have some understanding.
I offer now some things for you to think about:
Have you ever played team sport? If so what? Which is the most important player?
Have you ever played and instrument in an orchestra or band? If so, what did you play? … which is the most important person/musician?
Have you ever sung in a choir or a group? Who is the most important person?
The reality is, that each supports or enhances the other – all are needed. Teams cannot play if they don’t have the right number of players, and some pieces of music cannot be played or sung without all the necessary instruments or
In the passage you just read, Paul is speaking to the church at Corinth regarding pecking order, and mis-placed sense of priority or self-importance etc…

I invite you now to think about “Gifts”:
Personal gifts – some people are good at Maths, others better at English; some people are good at sports others at creative things; some are good at talking with people and others are good at seeing what needs doing and getting on with it…

Everyone has gifts, all are unique.
The Bible tells us that gifts of Spirit are given for the common good, and as the Spirit decides…
Imagine you are being given a gift… what will you do with your gift? …
Gifts – when they are given have to be received, and then put to their intended use.
So it is with the Holy Spirit …
In the passage you just read, we can see that it shows that we have the gift of Holy Spirit – by being able to say “Jesus is Lord!”

I invite you to pause for a moment and prayerfully either sing or consider the following words; hold your hands open on your lap and inviting God’s Holy Spirit to fill you:

Prayer (Hymn Rejoice and Sing 308)
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me;
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me;
Melt me! Mould me! Fill me! Use me!
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Daniel Iverson (1890–1972) Altd.

Theme – part 3
Now for something completely different!
Have you got a tool box? Or even tool boxes? What do you keep in them? What do you use the tools for?
I would like to have shown you my tool box, well one of them! The box I would have shown you contains various tool and pieces of small equipment for cake decorating. An activity I hardly ever have time for anymore. I could have brought my sewing box, with a range of tools in, or a tool box for DIY. You may have a tool box for something completely different.

So it is with the Holy Spirit …

The reason I asked you to think about tool boxes, is so that I can use them as an illustration. Each toolbox is specific to particular activity, even to different parts of same activity. I would like to suggest that the gifts of the Holy Spirit listed in our 1 Corinthians passage:
message of wisdom, message of knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in different kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues…
are like different tools in the same tool box, all for the same activity of being God’s church, but each with it’s own specific task. It is incredibly important to recognize that each are given by the Spirit – for the common good – as the Spirit decides.

Prayers of Intercession
We pray for the Church, for the great Church throughout the world, and for our own Church community gathered today for worship and prayer. May we remember Jesus every day, grow in understanding of him, and learn to love You and our neighbours more and more. Fill us with Your Spirit, and make us a people of peace, of faithful prayer and loving action.
Lord hear us – Lord graciously hear us.
We pray for the whole world; for the people, the animals, the earth, the sea and the air. May all that You have made be sustained in peace and harmony, and may all Your creatures share in the goodness of creation. Bring healing to all who are suffering, and may all Your people share in hope.
Lord hear us – Lord graciously hear us.
We pray for ourselves, for our families and our friends, for all those we love and for those we find it hard to love. May young and old respect one another, and the generations honour one another. May nothing divide us or come between us, let Your love bind us in affection. Bless us with Your peace, that together we may praise You forever.
Lord hear us – Lord graciously hear us.
Lord accept all our prayers, spoken and unspoken through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn Rejoice and Sing 371 (Tune “St Bees”)
1/6 Take my life, and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
take my moments and my days,
let them flow in ceaseless praise.

2/6 Take my hands, and let them move
at the impulse of Thy love;
take my feet, and let them be
swift and beautiful for Thee.

3/6 Take my voice, and let me sing
always, only, for my King;
take my lips, and let them be
filled with messages from Thee.

4/6 Take my silver and my gold,
not a mite would I withhold;
take my intellect, and use
every power as Thou shalt choose.

5/6 Take my will, and make it Thine;
it shall be no longer mine;
take my heart, it is Thine own;
it shall be Thy royal throne.

6/6 Take my love, my Lord, I pour
at Thy feet its treasure-store;
take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.
Frances Ridley Havergal 1836-79

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. And may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. Amen.

CCL: 707352
Mrs Rev’d Annette Haigh