She is that powerful, moving, invisible yet real presence, blowing into our lives as gently as each breath, or as powerfully as a hurricane. She is that energy heating up our lives as gently as a candle, or with the awesome power of a wildfire. Which version of the Spirit do you prefer?
This Sunday, we honor the moment when the disciples experienced the Holy Spirit and realized that they no longer needed the physical presence of Jesus. Each of them had his own inner conduit to God. So do we, if we dare to seek her.
Here’s how Luke (Acts 2:1-6) describes the moment, in the Message
When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.
There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were thunderstruck. They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, “Aren’t these all Galileans? How come we’re hearing them talk in our various mother tongues?
The Pentecost spirit is captured in a powerful poem by William Blake:
Unless the eye catch fire,
The God will not be seen.
Unless the ear catch fire
The God will not be heard.
Unless the tongue catch fire
The God will not be named.
Unless the heart catch fire,
The God will not be loved.
Unless the mind catch fire,
The God will not be known.