1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
No one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body– Jews or Greeks, slaves or free– and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Unless the eye catch fire, God will not be seen.
Unless the ear catch fire, God will not be heard.
Unless the tongue catch fire, God will not be named.
Unless the Heart catch fire, God will not be loved.
Unless the mind catch fire, God will not be known.
(William Blake from “Pentecost”)
All of us, who call ourselves Christians, have been given the gift of God’s impossible love, God’s Holy Spirit, in order that we might be more than we imagine, in order that we might do more than we dare dream, in order that we might be like Christ to a hurting and broken world. The Holy Spirit is God’s love in action, and as such, every loving thing we do is a gift of the Spirit. As Bruce D. Prewer once wrote (and I paraphrase),
The Spirit is quietly at work:
In those who take a stand against injustice
In the grace of folks who go the second mile
In the selfless service of those who care for others at the risk of their own safety
In the inner resources we discover in times of crisis
In the grace that enables us to admit when we are wrong
In the resilience of people who fight for the rights of others
In our ability to find joy in unexpected places
In refusing to let the greed of society take over our souls
In our ability to rise above past failures and put past hurts behind us
In our willingness to give thanks even through the hard times of life
Make no mistake about it, if there wasn’t a Holy Spirit this religion of ours would have died out long ago. You don’t have to throw too many people to the lions for them to get the message that they ought to find a different religion. And yet, our faith has survived and thrived in the midst of persecutions, wars, injustices, famines, disasters – you name it. And I am positive that we have made it through all this not because we are so good or so faithful – but because of the Spirit’s presence in our midst. With it we can do almost anything. Without it we might as well keep the church doors locked and stay home.
My friends, it has been an honor for us to bring you these daily readings, reflections and prayers. Usually, we only offer them during the season of Lent. This year, with a pandemic raging around the world, we thought it important to continue them throughout the great fifty days of Easter. We hope you have found them meaningful. It has been a joy for us to offer them. We will do it again next year, and in the meantime, we hope you will take advantage of some of the other Cathedral offerings found on our website: www.cathedral.org. God bless and keep you all, this day and always.
O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Book of Common Prayer)