Donald R. Elly, M. Div.
I am convinced, though we do not intend it, we celebrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit into our lives as power to be controlled, attempting to channel it our ends. The Holy Spirit intrudes shattering the routine ways of operating, leaving tradition in tatters. Only after the smoke clears can we see the hand of God at work making clear that nothing will be the same, especially those of us who seek to follow Jesus.
This was the Pentecost experience of the disciples gathered in the Upper Room. Quiet now, what is that I hear? “And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a mighty wind…it filled the entire house where they were sitting. “Visual effects reinforced this action of God, this new creation.“ Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.” “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability.”
Kathryn Matthews put the arrival of the Holy Spirit in these powerful words, “In that moment, all the people –despite their differences-were one in hearing, if not their understanding of the deeper meaning of what they heard. Fire, wind, and humble Galileans speaking persuasively in many tongues were dramatic signs that God was doing a new thing…1 When the Holy Spirit arrives we are reminded that God continues to create and transform and upset our apple carts bringing new life. The serendipity of the Holy Spirit is a guide, counselor, but above all the prophetic energy of God at work in us right now.
1 Kathryn Matthews, “Gathered and Scattered, Weeky Seeds”, Friday, May 6, 2016 (an email)
May 15, 2016; Cycle C; Pentecost Sunday
Genesis 11:1-9; Psalm 104:24-34,35b; Romans 8:14-7; *Acts 2:1- 21