Acts 2:1-3 – When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
The Holy Spirit is a person, to be sure. We make a grave mistake when we refer to the Spirit as an ‘it’ rather than a ‘thou’. Nevertheless, Luke is reminding us here in these opening verses of chapter 2 that however personal the Holy Spirit is, the third person of the trinity no less, he is not tameable. The images used to describe the Spirit’s arrival into the upper room are elemental: wind and fire. And it’s no gentle breeze we are talking about, no reflective silence, that attends the prayer meeting on that first Pentecost, but the sound of a violent wind from heaven that filled the whole house. For suburbanites like us, such noise might prove a little disturbing perhaps- a little unsettling. Pentecost might feel like a rude interruption into our otherwise safe environment. But that’s the point. The Holy Spirit may want to comfort you but he most definitely does not want to cocoon you. At some point he will want to lift you off your seat and set you ablaze. Watch out.
Prayer: O God of burning, cleansing flame, send the fire. Your blood-bought gift today we claim, send the fire today. Amen.