Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bishop’s Note: June 18, 2015 Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Godly Counsel

Bishop Eric Menees

Have you ever had a situation where you might be speaking to a brother or sister who is going through a difficult time?  Perhaps they were trying to figure out a difficult relationship, or seeking to reconcile, or seeking to make a difficult decision, and sought out your counsel?

Did you find yourself, in that moment, offering clear counsel that resonated with your friend?  If so you probably experienced the gift of Godly Counsel that Isaiah spoke of when he wrote: “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:1-3a)

The gift of Godly Counsel is present both in the giving and receiving of good advice in practical situations.  The fruit of this gift is more than just a sense of it being sound advice, but it is fruitful when applied to a situation that allows someone to mature in his or her walk with the Lord.  

In my ministry, I seem to recognize this most in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  I see it when my Confessor speaks into my life and I just know: “Yes, this is truth and this is what I must do.”  This isn’t because my confessor is terrific, though he is; it is because I’m open in that moment to the Spirit of God speaking into my life and using Fr. Larry as His instrument.

In other times I am the confessor, and I just know in my heart that this is the counsel that I’m supposed to give, or this is the question I am supposed to ask that will allow the penitent to make the connection.  When this occurs, it is not because of my great counsel, but because the Holy Spirit leads us to discern right from wrong and good from evil.

Ultimately, the gift of Godly Counsel comes with humility – humbling ourselves to seek help from others and - most importantly - from the Lord when faced with difficult decisions, or aiding others in making the right decisions and taking right actions.

“Gracious and loving Lord we pray for the anointing of your Holy Spirit with the gift of Godly Counsel for the furtherance our ministry in your church, for the benefit of your children and for your honor and glory!  Open our hearts and minds to humbly receive you gift and then to willingly share it with others.  This we pray in the name of our one God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Catechism Questions 124 - 126

124.    What are the three ordained ministries in the Anglican Church?
The three orders are bishops, priests, and deacons.

125.    What is the work of bishops?
The work of bishops is to represent and serve Christ and the Church as chief pastors, to lead in preaching and teaching the faith and in shepherding the faithful, to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church, and to bless, confirm and ordain, thus following in the tradition of the Apostles. (Titus 1:7-9; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Acts 20:28)

126.    What is the work of priests?

The work of priests, serving Christ under their bishops, is to nurture congregations through the full ministry of the Word preached and Sacraments rightly administered, and to pronounce absolution and blessing in God’s name. (Titus 1:5; 1 Peter 5:1)

No comments: