The Spirit, the gifts, and the double church

The liturgical calendar for June is distinguished by two celebrations: one of them is well known, the other one deserves more attention. Here is what we can look forward to on the four Sundays in June.

Construction work on the temple

Obviously, Pentecost, the birthday of the church of Christ, is number one—the descent of the Holy Spirit, who from then on made it possible that God could be experienced in the church. This is what the first Sunday service is about on 5 June 2022. Another aspect of this is the idea of helping to build God’s temple and that everyone contributes their gifts. But this temple is far from finished, and it is not just the church.

Gifts and tasks

And what gifts are we talking about? The answer is given in the next midweek service, on 8 or 9 June: the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings forth. Some of these are quite spectacular, others less so. And which gifts should the faithful concentrate on? On those that benefit others. One gift in particular stands out.

Unity through love

The Holy Spirit is also involved in the second Christian feast in June: Trinity Sunday. On this day, Christians of various denominations have been commemorating the self-revelation of God as the Trinity for nearly a thousand years. The Father as Creator, the Son as the Saviour, and the Holy Spirit as the Helper and Comforter are united by a common trait. Which one? This is what the Bible text will focus on that will be used in the service on 12 June 2022.

Making the invisible tangible

On the third Sunday, 19 June 2022, the focus will be more on fostering and caring for the congregation than actually building the church. Some events raise the question: Is the church really holy, as the creeds state? The inconceivably large, invisible part of the church of Christ certainly is, because the love of Christ is at work in it, for example, in the sacrament. How things stand with the visible part is up to the believers. They can make the invisible love of Christ visible with their conduct.

No one is forgotten

God raises the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the ash heap. This declaration from the Psalms will serve as the basis for the divine service on Sunday, 26 June 2022 and be applied to the departed. The text testifies of the certainty that God helps everyone and excludes no one from salvation. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ has made it possible for both the living and the dead to receive the gifts of salvation. The Bible testifies of this by referring to the fact that Christ Himself went and preached to the spirits in prison. How God’s love and care is shown today will be explained in this divine service that serves to prepare the upcoming service for the departed at the beginning of July.

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Andreas Rother
Divine service