And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.” vss. 2-3Acts 2:1-13
Luke’s picture of the Pentecost has caught the attention of artists in every age and we’ve all seen their renditions of men and women caught up in Spirit-filled ecstacy, each with a tongue of fire rising from the tops of their heads. Luke’s image is powerful and reminds us that the coming of the Spirit is like the wind and is marked by the cleansing fire of baptismal rebirth. It’s worth noting that Luke calls it a violent wind–not a soft breeze wafting through the branches of pines in the park. His adjective is intentional. The coming of the Spirit is seldom gentle and hidden. Rather, it’s that forceful push from God that gets us out of our comfortable pews and into places we’d sometimes rather not be. God has to be like that. When we get in our ruts our inclination is to just keep trucking along, even if the way is boring and fruitless. Change is scary and means getting off our rear ends and into action. It means taking risks, playing with fire, and maybe burning our fingers. But when the Spirit drives us, we move, and that’s how rebirth and resurrection happen. And we don’t have to be artists to get the picture!
Thought for the Day: Times I’ve been jolted into action.