"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Pentecost - Gifts of the Spirit
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 Commentary
by Mary Hinkle Shore
What is God Up To?
Paul begins chapter 12 by saying, "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed" (1 Corinthians 12:1).
By all accounts, the Corinthians had a full measure of the Spirit's power. Prophecy, speaking in tongues, and the interpretation of tongues, knowledge: the Corinthians had them all and more. Yet they also had conflict, immorality, and thoughtless disregard for one another. How could they know something was a gift of the Spirit and not merely self-indulgence? Throughout this chapter and the next, Paul teaches on the topic of how to discern God's work in the activation of various gifts and how to value one's brothers and sisters in Christ across that variety.
What is God up to? My colleagues in the field of congregational mission and leadership regard this question as the central one for Christian public leaders: "What is God doing in this place?" What is God doing in the church, in the neighborhood, in the lives of people within the fold of the congregation and the lives of those beyond it?
Sometimes congregations have never asked questions about their reason for being in this way. Other ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 042: Pentecost - Gifts of the Spirit
May 27, 2012
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's reading is Pentecost - Gifts of the Spirit: 1Cor 12:1-11.