Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bishop’s Note: July 23, 2015 Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Prophecy

Bishop Eric Menees

“[14] Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

Let me ask you: What comes to mind when I say “prophecy?” Do you think of Isaiah speaking of the coming of the Christ? Do you think of John the Baptist coming out of the wilderness, calling people to repentance and dressed roughly in a camel hair shirt and leather belt – long hair and straggly beard?

Actually, I think of Archbishop Foley Beach and Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. To look at them, you’d not recognize them as having the gift of prophecy but, in fact, they do have that anointing and exercise it regularly. This past week I was blessed to witness them exercise this gift at the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans. Through sermons and teaching, they built up the Body of Christ, which is the Church, inspiring all those listening to serve the Lord and glorify His Name.

Throughout history, God the Holy Spirit has selected men and women to “proclaim the Glory of God and edify man.” In the broadest terms, that is the definition of the Gift of Prophecy. Sometimes that gift is very specific, as we saw with Isaiah and the prophecies of the birth of the Messiah. Sometimes the prophecies are for building up the Bride of Christ – the Church – as we see in St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 12.

From the time of Jesus to the present, men and women have been given the gift of prophecy to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. Haven’t you been in church and listened to a sermon that you just knew in your soul was anointed? Perhaps it stirred your heart and mind to seek a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ? Perhaps it stirred your soul to reach out and serve others? Perhaps it convicted you to examine your life and repent. Perhaps it was a strange and warm affirmation that you are loved beyond your wildest imaginations. Why do these sermons stir us? Perhaps 2 Peter states it best: “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”  (2 Peter 1:21)

It is my sincere prayer that everyone of my clergy will pray that God the Holy Spirit will grant them the gift of prophecy, that their sermons will be inspired and inspiring – glorifying God, and blessing and equipping the people of the church to actively bring people to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ!

I pray you all a truly blessed Lord’s Day!

Catechism Questions 142 - 144

142.    How should you think of the human body?
My body is the good and God-given means of my experience, expression, enjoyment, love and service within God’s good creation. But sin and death now infect this world, and my body will degenerate and die. (Genesis 1:26-31; 3:19)

143.    Where do you go after you die?
When I die, my body will perish but, by the will of God, my soul will live on, awaiting resurrection and final judgment. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44)

144.    What is the resurrection of the body?

When Jesus appears on judgment day, he will bring all the dead back to bodily life, the wicked to judgment and the righteous to eternal life in the glory of God. (John 5:25-29; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)

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