To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. (1Co 12:8-10 NIV)
The message of wisdom is mentioned as first spiritual gift, because it is the most urgently required. It is that gift of the shepherd and pastor to lead his people to eternal salvation. Therefore the second gift is the message of knowledge through which the hearer is led to truth and wisdom. Both belong to the Church and God provides both in sufficient manner too. One undergirds and supports the other. Then you get faith and the gift of healing and even miraculous powers. How is it with these gifts? Are they still there in the Church? If not, why are they not given? Did the Lord of the Church only promise them initially for the beginning stages? Does Christ’s congregation not have the same calling throughout the ages to call the unbelievers and pagans through word, but also miracles and prophecies to repentance and into faith? Is the shortage of these gifts a fault of previous generations? Perhaps so. However it is certain that the Lord deals out his precious gifts according to his pleasure and good will. Times change and he even grants the unexpected and unasked for. His miraculous fountains can pour forth at any time and place. We on our side should never falter in fervent prayers for rich measures of his gifts and miracles in and for his only holy Church.
Almighty and eternal God, you have decorated and endowed your holy Church with manifold gifts of your most holy Spirit. We pray you: Glorify yourself in our midst according to the wealth and riches of your Spirit and grant graciously that we utilize and implement your precious gifts in humble service to uplift and empower our brothers and to magnify your name through Jesus Christ your dear Son and our Lord. Amen.
Giver of grace, descend from high; Your sev’nfold gifts to us supply; Help us eternal truths receive And practice all that we believe; Give us Yourself that we may see The glory of the Trinity. (Rabanus Marus, 776-856 tr John Dryden 1631-1700)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Friday after the tenth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 290 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.