Friday, December 31, 2004

SEVEN SWANS A SWIMMING. Romans 12 names seven specific "gifts of the spirit": prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, compassion. These are the "seven swans a swimming" in the children's song that is really a Christian catechism in disguise (developed in 16th-century England when Catholic practice had to go underground).

ONLY SEVEN? Many more spiritual gifts could be named. The Apostle Paul lists others in other letters. But let these seven at least highlight the belief that God gives special graces, or gifts, to people for the sake of enacting and advancing Kingdom purposes.

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