I’m reading a book. It’s quite an old book too. OK, not old in the annals of publishing, but old considering how fast Christian paperbacks seem to age and fall out of favour!
The book is called Signs and Blunders by Rev’d Peter Lawrence who until his death a couple of years ago, ministered up the road from my Mother-in-Law in the Parish of Canford-Magna, Dorset. It’s a great little book charting Peter’s own exploration and experience of exercising spiritual gifts during the Charismatic / Pentecostal awakenings of the 1980’s.
Peter covers quite early on in the book the gift of tongues.
I am not going to cover the ins and outs of this gift on this blog, many have gone before into that territory and many will go after.
The thing is, I was struck as I read the pages that speaking in tongues has in the past formed essential parts of my worship life. Yet I hadn’t really noticed that is something that has been missing for many a long year.
I used to worship privately using tongues, and at times I would, (I am almost embarrassed to admit)sing in tongues. And why not, it seems to me that this gift is something God has given us to be a special bond ‘tween Him and us.
So where has it gone? Why do I so rarely exercise this gift, even in private? Partly I want to link this malaise to the tiredness I mentioned in my previous post, but that would be an untruth. I have to admit that htis area of my spiritual life has been missing for sometime. Perhaps, though I am sure in no-way connected with, my going to theological college in ’04 to train for ordination – I may be wrong about this, but certainly it has been a while.
Peter Lawrence refers to All spiritual gifts, tongues included as
signs of the coming Kingdom of God
And I think I agree.
Then perhaps it is time for me to reconnect with my Father and Saviour through the Holy spirit and use this gift again.
This is not something I say lightly, I have always been somewhat embarrassed at the gifts of the Spirit, particularly the vocal and obvious ones! There is something very English and dare I say Anglican about sitting pew-bound and not making a scene. Well perhaps God isn’t English after all (and perhaps he isn’t even Anglican either!!!). Steve Nicholson of the VVineyard Christian Church of Evanston has a neat saying that if we feel led by God to do something we should do it. To get it wrong and feel foolish is far better than to have hidden from a genuine call.
We are called to use the Spiritual Gifts God has given us, in the ways he chooses to use them. If we suppress them, then perhaps we will lose them, or at least get so rusty in them that we become unwilling to open the gilded box in which we have hidden them.
Certainly for me, it feels it is time to step out once more in the gifts God has given me.
YIKES! Here Goes….