Speaking to the Soul – May 27


On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. Acts 2:1-4

Pentecost Sunday marks the birthday of the Church. Jesus had asked his followers to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit – and now he has arrived. Pentecost was a Jewish harvest festival and was held 50 days after Passover. It was one of the three annual pilgrimages and so Jerusalem would have been heaving with visitors from all over the region.

Jesus’ followers were probably gathered in the upper room where they had been in the habit of meeting. One can imagine them meeting quietly and prayerfully as they had done since the time of Jesus’ ascension. But suddenly, everything changed as they were overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit. A completely new era had just begun. A violent wind filled the whole house, symbolising the breath of life that the Holy Spirit brings. No one could miss the fact that something dramatic was taking place, and the tongues of fire that rested on each of them spoke of the cleansing and refining work of the Spirit.

As the Holy Spirit came upon them, they spoke in other languages as they worshipped God together. What an incredible moment! Our experience of the Holy Spirit might be very different from this, but we should be encouraged that he is the same Spirit. He wants to breathe life on us today and refine us with his fire. The Holy Spirit never leaves things the way they are. He is constantly challenging, renewing and purifying us as we worship God together.

In what ways have you experienced the wind and fire of the Holy Spirit?

God our Father, thank you for sending your Holy Spirit. Help me to welcome him today, so that I may become more like Jesus. Amen

Photo – Six Mile river at Lough Neagh, Antrim