Pentecost – How tongues of fire loosened tongues of faith
They huddled together, mournful and afraid, forgetting that the grave didn’t have the final say. Nor did the resurrection of the risen, ascended Saviour mean He had forgotten about them now. He had spoken of many reassuring things but His absence still left a painful sting.
Now, bereft of His presence, cowed by the authorities, wary of what to say, what was safe or possible for them, they gathered as they were in the habit of doing. And it happened. Taking all assembled by surprise. A sudden, rushing wind arrived as heaven touched earth with bold magnificence.
Quaking, faltering disciples were about to become ardent apostles: joyous, liberated, eloquent Truth tellers, mouthpieces and world shakers for Jesus. Flaming tongues of Holy Spirit fire flared bright, igniting mind and heart, loosening tongues, giving them utterance to proclaim the Good News to others.
Only with God can the fearful become faith filled. Only a touch from heaven is required to light a spark of hope and courage in hurting hearts. Only the Holy Spirit can move souls to speak so powerfully for God, despite the rejection and reprisals it might bring.
A unique bond between God’s risen, incarnate Son
and lowly earth dwellers. A beautiful gift of grace
visibly poured out to satiate thirsty sojourners
A living tie threading lives together in unity
with Christ and one another, whereby sister
and brother become his cherished Beloved
Flaming tongues of fire igniting heart and mind
with heavenly anointing—now rendering weak
human beings into ardent disciples for him
A fire for Jesus, a holy surrender seared
by Holy Spirit’s life-giving energy, guidance, zest
now rests on our hearts like a gentle caress
We sense stirrings within, a call, prompting
to prayer, to follow him, to yield again
and again to the Way that leads to soul Life
instead of death—from whispered words, soft as breath
“God sends the Holy Spirit as a preserving seal to lock in our faith, as an authenticating seal to validate our sonship, and as a protecting seal to keep out destructive forces. The point is that God wants us to feel secure and safe in his love and power” ~ John Piper ‘Live by the Spirit’
We live in the aftermath of Pentecost, with the charismata bearing sweet fruit in our souls and lives. We long for a deeper encounter with God, and Pentecost has paved the way. Holy Spirit takes up residence in every believer’s heart, bringing Jesus to us as constant Soul Companion and Friend.
We don’t have to live weak, defeated lives, because we are given the means of victory due to our faith in Christ. Our hearts have been warmed. Our minds enlivened. Our spirits set aflame. Our tongues loosened to proclaim our Saviour’s glorious Name.