Holy Spirit Fire!
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.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other
tongues as the Spirit enabled them. – Acts 2:1-4
Lately, it seems that we all get “fired up” about seemingly small things. The ongoing stress of global pandemic, national disagreements over politics or vaccinations get us all heated up. Whereas, the big things in life and society: injustice, violence, evangelism, poverty, racism, leave us feeling helpless and hopeless and too large to even start thinking about, let alone work to eradicate. The disciples had experienced the greatest shock and trauma of their lives. Jesus, their teacher, their friend, their leader, had been brutally beaten and executed by the Romans. Then, miraculously, was raised from the dead and had been living with them and teaching them over the course of 40 days. After his ascension into heaven, at Pentecost (50 days following Passover), the disciples were all together in the upper room once again. The Holy Spirit showed up in a brilliant display of fire and wind, and language.
The disciples were empowered and enabled to speak in diverse languages and communicate effectively with people of every tribe and nation. They were “on fire” with the gospel message of Jesus Christ’s saving death and resurrection. They baptized over 3,000 people in a single day because people’s hearts were moved. There have been seasons when this church has felt as though it was “on fire” for the Lord. And there have been dry seasons in our spiritual history as well. At times, God is doing the groundwork in order to prepare us for the next season of growth. At other times, we may just need a little more courage and a little less skepticism, in order to step out in faith and be “on fire” for the work the Lord is calling us to.
I encourage you this Pentecost Sunday, to spend some time in prayer and ask God’s Spirit to fill you with passion and “fire” for the ministry and opportunity to which God is calling your heart and your life in this season. The “fire” God puts in your heart for the church, for our community and for the world may be surprising.
Spirit of life, you long for the world’s transformation. Your vision is grander than anything we can imagine, and so we thank you for the privilege of participating in your mission. May we use our gifts be a blessing that speaks the language of this community, and may that blessing multiply out to every place. Breathe in us again this day, that our whole lives may be an offering for your glory. Amen.