Growing up, I didn’t hear much about the Holy Spirit. Or perhaps, I wasn’t paying attention.
But I met the Spirit as an adult, recognizing this divine Person blending into my flesh and melting into my soul, ever-changing me.
Today, on this day when churches worldwide celebrate Pentecost, we wear red, and carry pinwheels and light candles to symbolize the work of the Spirit — which comes like wind or fire.
But the Holy Spirit is more than a symbol, more than a one-Sunday-a-year cause for celebration.
The Holy Spirit is part of a divine, triune Person. Not an “it.” Not a spooky Ghost.
The Spirit is Jesus Christ, living inside ordinary human beings.
Eternal life meshing with mortal bodies.
I think the Spirit scares people sometimes. Supernatural things can happen when God is inside of us and wants to have His way with us. Visions, dreams, physical healing, speaking in a new language. It can all seem a bit … goofy — even to people within the church.
It’s always been that way, even when the Holy Spirit came to the first Christians two millenia ago.
“When the day of Pentecost came,
they were all together in one place.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. …
Amazed and perplexed,
they asked one another,
“What does this mean?”
Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
That’s when Peter addressed the crowd:
— from Acts 2.
“These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning.” — Acts 2:14
To focus solely on the “experience” of the Spirit would shortchange the work of God. Sadly, the church has made a mess of things by allowing camps to form of haves and have-nots when it comes to Spiritual gifts.
The Spirit is more than an experience of His power.
The Spirit is the fulfilled promise of Jesus, who said He would never leave us. He gave us a Counselor, a Spirit of Truth.
When I forget who I am — and Whose I am — the Holy Spirit refreshes my memory with a gentle whisper.
This is God, able to enter a personality and change it.
This is God, showing up, setting hearts on fire.
This is Emmanuel, God with us.
If you hurt, His Spirit comforts you.
If you need discernment, His Spirit guides you.
His Spirit gives voice to your words — then intercedes for you in prayer when you have no words of your own.
The Holy Spirit is God’s promise that we are never alone. Never.
Call me drunk, but today I needed to know that. (And yes, I’m posting this at nine in the morning.)
Photo: Watching flames dance at a family campfire.