“In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:17-18
Pentecost . . . That day when the winds of God’s Spirit blew. The Holy Spirit poured out on the disciples of Jesus and they left the dark shadows of their fear behind. Gone was the hovering behind locked doors, of a few weeks earlier (See John 20).
These same disciples are empowered with courage to speak boldly words of faith, and hope in Jesus. No longer saddled with fear of ‘what if they spoke,’ they were freed to tell of Jesus and what they had seen and heard as he walked among them.
The apostle Peter claimed that moment as the fulfillment of the prophet Joel’s words, when “God’s Spirit would be poured out on all flesh: sons and daughters would prophesy, the young would see visions and the old dream, dreams.” A gift for everyone to share across races, cultures, economic status and national boundaries . . . A day that united people into God’s people and the ongoing work of Christ.
When I’m asked why I believe this “Jesus’ thing” I point to those cowardly disciples, touched by God’s spirit who face their fear with courage and grace, proclaiming: Christ among them, Christ crucified, Christ raised. I think of their transformation from living in fear, to becoming witnesses of Christ’s resurrection.
On that long ago Pentecost, not only were the disciple’s lives transformed, but that of those who listened. God’s Spirit touched hearts and minds, washing away years of cynicism, despair, orneriness and pride.
The power of the Spirit of God, God’s Holy Spirit, settling into our hearts remakes us more fully into the image of God. The Spirit empowers and encourages us to take leaps of faith and trust. We begin to see the world with new eyes. We are given visions of what can be and who we might be. In the presence of God’s Spirit unleashed, we are graced with hope. God’s loving presence covers us so we can rest in security.
May it be that the winds of Pentecost blow in your life. May you be touched by holy fire, by the Spirit of God . . . God’s life-giving Spirit, that transforms, filling empty lives with new significance. The Spirit that give courage to face life’s greatest difficulties . . . Guides, directs, consoles, comforts. That you might know for yourself, God’s hand on your life and know in your heart, the presence of the Holy One.
Come Holy Spirit, Come. Amen.