It is Pentecost. Looks like… Sounds like… Feels like….
Our fireplace looks so hot, and when the fire is intense, it sounds like flames and hot wind roaring up the chimney; and it feels like we’ve got something powerfully dangerous just barely contained in its place.
Fire is intense, insatiable, burning, consuming; encompassing everything in its area of influence. In a human it would be called “fervent.” That is what the in-coming of the Spirit of God looked like and felt like to the eyewitnesses at Pentecost.
First there was sound. I like to think of it as the nearing-approach of the power of the spiritual realm ripping into the physical, material realm. It sounds like the force of a 60 mile an hour wind roaring through tall trees overhead.
But it feels not like wind. It feels like holy power. Those in the Upper Room and those outside near the Upper Room could sense something had arrived, something that was going to make a difference.
And then there was the appearance. This coming of the Holy Spirit, coming where He wanted to be, to the witnesses looks like Tongue-Shaped Flames of fire.
WHY FIRE? Because God’s desire for the people he made is a powerful, intense, burning Love, to the point where He was willing to be consumed as a Holy Oblation for them. When He said on the Cross, “I thirst,” it was not just His physical body speaking, it was the fervent, all-consuming desire of God for the return of allsouls back to Him. If His heart on the Cross were an animated drawing, It would be erupting in Flames of Love.
And now, at Pentecost, the Holy spirit “connects” Himself to the souls that choose to return to Him. It is a fervent, actual, very real potentionally powerful connection. If you choose to follow Christ, this Power is bigger than you are.
When my ancestors accepted this Flame, it changed them from barbarians who spread out to go a-viking into a civilized people who spread out to civilize other parts of the world. A powerful Spiritual Force indeed.