Listen to this daily worship
Acts 2: 1-21 (NRSVA)
1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ 13 But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 “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.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
When the Holy Spirit comes in power. Brothers and sisters that is something to experience! That is something to behold. I was in my early 20s (and that wasn’t yesterday) when that thing, that thing I had read about, went from abstract to real in the time it took me to lift up my guitar and step out in front of the crowd at Carberry Festival in 1988.
It’s like a rushing wind, the music takes on transcendence and your voice and the notes you play have no top and no bottom – you get the sense of being part of a great, ancient, magnificent conduit of love. It’s beyond beauty and its beyond intoxicating — you become a note in the great harmony.
That’s the best way I can describe it. It’s always been like that for me and it’s there for all of you reading this – think of that moment when you do the thing you were born for, perhaps in your work, perhaps in your home life, perhaps at church, perhaps in the middle of a long walk. Feel the wind in your hair and breath in the light that surrounds all of us, every day. We just need to notice, that, that right there, is a tiny spark of the Holy Spirit.
I think of Peter the rock, the fallen then redeemed man, receiver of the Holy Spirit and able to give it voice. What a privilege. Friends there are signs and wonders all around us — we just have to pause and look, we just have to rest and allow space for the Holy Spirit to manifest, welcome it in and there will indeed be visions and the dreaming of dreams and words of prophesy.
Fallen and redeemed — Peter — just like me, just like you.
Lord let me know in this moment the breath of the Holy Spirit
Fill my lungs with its light and let me breathe away the dark
I wait for your spirit, in your name, in your time. Selah.