7 The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all.
1 Corinthians 12:7
In times of desperation it can be hard to feel the Holy Spirit. But, as Christians, we have been promised His presence in our lives:
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you
another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world
cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives
with you and will be[a] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:15 – 18.
The church as a whole has reached a point of desperation. Everyday we read of another church closing its doors or disbanding. Numbers are dwindling and the current environment with the pandemic and social climate has made it even more difficult for churches to survive. But the good news is that we are not alone, and we do not have to fall by the way. We have the advocate at our side. What we are being called to is a new way of doing church.
For too long the American church has been a social club. In many denominations belonging was a social contract. In others it was a “family tradition” and others it was associated with guilt. But we are being called to return to our “first love”. Our love of Christ. We are being called to open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, who is freely given to us by Christ. The only requirement is to follow Christ commands. Those commandments are summed up into two things:
Love God above all else and love your neighbor as God has loved you.
The time has come to check our love. Are we loving God above all else? Or are we putting our facility first? Are loving God above all else, or is it just a weekend kind of love? What are you doing in your daily life that shows your love of God? Are you communing with God daily? Do you recognize Christ with you always? Or is it just when a crisis comes or the pastor calls or when Sunday morning rolls along? Showing our love of God is walking humbly and, in His presence, aware that the Spirit is with us and guiding us in all our ways. It doesn’t make us perfect, of course, but it makes us aware and in connection with God we begin to bear fruit.
What of our love of neighbor? Are we like the teachers trying to trick Jesus and asking, ‘who is our neighbor’? Jesus’ replies, everyone is our neighbor. The black man choked in the street, the immigrant child caged like an animal, the disabled threatened with financial uncertainty, the homeless sitting on the corner begging. These are all our neighbors, what have you done in love of them lately? What has the Spirit been saying to you? Are you feeling the tug of the Spirit as you see these injustices?
We are promised the gifts of the Spirit, but we must accept these gifts. God planted in all of us the seeds for these gifts and from one moment to the next we may move through different gifts, that is how His Spirit works. We may find ourselves called to be a voice of wisdom, or a miracle worker, or in the next moment a prophet. The gifts are to glorify God and the common thread throughout is how the gifts will build the church of our Lord. We will know we are using our gifts when we see the fruits produced. The fruits derive naturally from the gifts of the Spirit and they are produced in us through the Holy Spirit:
22 But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and
good. It is being faithful 23 and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against
things of that kind.
We have a bold vision for Park Hill Christian Church. We have a hunger to build God’s church here in our community. No longer are we looking at what we have. We are beginning to look at what God wills for us to be. Our fruits are planted. The Holy Spirit is giving us the nutrients and the water, through His gifts, for our fruit to grow. Take time today, in communion with God and pray, that we show the love of God to our community. Then step out in faith and action and show that we love our community.
If you know of a program that will help us love our community, let leadership know. Let’s reach out and touch our neighbors. If you know of an organization that needs space to carry out their mission of love, let leadership know so we can reach out to them and offer Bold Hospitality. If you have an idea of how we can reach a segment of our community speak up, let us boldly strive to accommodate and meet needs of those around us.
We have done much in the past, Family Promise, SPEAC, Micah Ministries and so much more, but now is the time where we look across the street and see the need next door. We look at the school in our backyard and say how can we help. Now is the time that we open our hearts to the homeless man or woman on the corner and ask what can we do to meet your need? How can we show you the love of Christ today?
Like Peter and John, let us look to our neighbor and say;
“Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of
Nazareth, walk.” Acts 3:6
The gifts we have are numerous and the joy of the Lord is with us. Let us spread that joy and love to the Park Hill Christian Church community.
6601 Northwest 72nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64151 | 816-741-1851