Up to this point in our Holy Spirit series, we have mostly focused on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the individual believer. We’ve seen that the Spirit is the Helper, the one who brings the living presence of Jesus into our everyday lives. He is the Sanctifier, the one who unites us to Jesus Christ and helps us grow to become more like Jesus. He is the Guide, the one who leads us into a deeper knowledge of the love of Christ so we can wisely navigate the journey of life. And The Spirit is the Comforter, the one who comes along side us to bear our burdens and strengthen us in our sorrow and pain.
In our final week, Pentecost Sunday, we’ll turn to see the Holy Spirit as The Power, specifically the one who empowers the church for its work and mission in the world. Jesus has one and only one strategy for continuing his mission to renew all things, and it is the church. The power that Jesus has given to his people to animate them for his work and mission is the Holy Spirit. This Sunday we’ll look at two distinct ways the Spirit empowers the church- both equipping the people of God through gifts to serve one another (1 Cor 12:4-11) and empowering the people of God for witness in the world (Acts 1:8). Both of these works of the Spirit are works of love- enabling the church to both love one another and also love the world in need.
This Sunday we’ll close our service with that wonderful hymn that we have sung a couple times in this series, “Holy Spirit Living Breath of God.” The final stanza is a fitting prayer for Pentecost Sunday and for our future:
Holy Spirit, from creation’s birth,
Giving life to all that God has made,
Show Your power once again on earth;
Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise.
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
That in unity the face of Christ
Will be clear for all the world to see.
Once finalized, our weekly worship guide can be found here.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.