You raise the blind and go, “Wow!” The sunrise has grabbed your attention. The scene out there in the eastern sky makes an impact upon you. Of course, it can all be explained in physical terms such as light reflected off water vapour and your reaction can also be described in scientific terminology, but the real impact of the sunrise upon you is on the level of spirit. It happened one morning in Jerusalem when the followers of Jesus were gathered together in one place. According to Acts 2, that they were overwhelmed by the dawning of a brand-new day. In the light of their experience of Jesus in Galilee, then crucified and risen, they were grasped by the same power and presence that had motivated and empowered him. In reporting the experience, they spoke of a sudden violent wind, tongues like fire and a strange ability to speak in foreign languages, but at the heart of it all was the sense of being overwhelmed by the presence and power of God re-shaping their outlook, empowering their mission, driving them to tell the world that Jesus was truly both its Lord and Saviour. So, at Pentecost, the Festival of the Holy Spirit, we celebrate our experience of the presence and power of God. God making an impact – that’s another way of talking about the Holy Spirit – is not only experienced in creation, in human life, in prophets, in inspired individuals and in Jesus, but also in the Church. The Holy Spirit is the motivator, director and energizer of the Church, not just in the Church in terms of hierarchy, but in the lives of all who respond to Christ in faith. Are we allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed by this power and presence or do we put dampeners upon God’s spontaneity?
- What recently has made an impact upon you like the sunrise described above?
- How have you experienced the Spirit of God in your life?
- What makes wind and fire good images to use when talking about the Holy Spirit?
- How can we put dampeners on the Holy Spirit in our own lives or in the life of the church?