PENTECOST is a great day to engage with a group of wonderful, gifted people preparing for Confirmation. We’ve 11 candidates this year and amongst the many present day gifts, hopes and aspirations represented in the group are languages / interpreting, veterinary surgery, counselling, law, physiotherapy, university teaching, mothering, good family life and friendship.

Each candidate is a delight in his or her own right and the Life and gifts of God’s Spirit are individually and uniquely tailored in, upon and for each of them – as for each and every living person. Confirmation will honour, affirm and confirm the unique gifts in each, and – perhaps most especially – the gift of faith, of confidence and trust in this wonderful Life’s provision. As God once revealed God’s name to Moses as “I AM” so, sharing in the same “family name”, each of this year’s candidates will continue to go and to grow in the strength of that familial relationship: “I am ….” and “I am ….” and “I am ….”.

And this morning we celebrated the sacrament of Holy Baptism in the context of the Eucharistic celebration – joyfully acknowledging connection with another young Christian, and hers with us. And we further celebrated my colleague Fr David’s 45 years of service as a deacon, and 44 years as a priest. Added to that we celebrated the life and vibrant witness of Christ’s Church across 2000+ years, and our own blessed vocations within the universal family of the God who made and sustains each and every one of us.


I AM smiles upon us, calling us to ever deeper greatness, compassion, grace and love. I AM smiles upon us, calling us in the power of the Spirit to more and more Christ-like-ness, to more and more Anointed-like-ness. I AM smiles upon us, calling us to be gracious and loving and compassionate with ourselves – so that we’re built up in strength and in confidence to be all these things and more for others. I AM smiles upon us, calling us to open our hearts and souls and minds and bodies in loving and compassionate prayer and concern for brutalised people in Syria, in Stockport, and in many places all over the world. I AM smiles upon us, summoning us to care for the sick and the sorrowing.

I AM smiles upon us, gifting all human persons with unique blessings that may be put to good and creative use, contributing immeasurably to the sum total of faith and hope and love and healing hugs and peals of laughter in a beautiful, but in places torn and damaged world; in our spectacularly beautiful, but in places torn and damaged hearts. I AM smiles upon us, and at Pentecost, fifty days after the Feast Day of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we are, most decidedly and assuredly, celebrating anointed LIFE.

I am alive and thriving in the Life and Love of I AM. And I am profoundly thankful.

8 thoughts on “THE SPIRIT’S GIFTS

  1. I appreciate the way you have expressed the qualities of light in this picture: the fire of God and it’s effect on the human heart and mind. The fullness of joy in the absence of everything but the smiles. I think you’ve precisely painted what a face feels like when you’re really happy.

  2. I find your words so beautiful and embracing even if one is not Christian (for I am not)..The affirmative “I Am” in my mind is followed by spirituality, love and life. It is reinforced in family, friendship and placing a gentle hand on the world. I hope I’m not being disrespectful in articulating my thoughts despite the differences in our religion. I just wanted you to know how much your words resonate.

  3. πŸ™‚ … not remotely disrespectful. Thank you very much indeed for sharing your thoughts. Your own words – and beautiful blog – resonate very deeply indeed with me. “Placing a gentle hand upon the world” is patently one of your gifts – and something to which all of us do well to aspire. Have a lovely day. And please stop by this way again, as I will to you πŸ™‚

  4. I am so awed by your words and your kind being. I say the same words you had told me once,” You are a wonderful soul.” No matter what happens, you ALWAYS have something beautiful to say. I really respect you! πŸ˜€
    And I loved your drawing! πŸ˜€

  5. Pingback: HUMANKIND | Simon Marsh

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