Today we celebrate the coming of God’s Spirit upon the apostles gathered in the Upper Room. Jesus had given them instructions to remain there until they were… “equipped with the power from on high.” And so they waited…
Have you ever waited for someone or some thing? The insurance agent called and said he’d be there at 10. Ten o’clock comes and goes and he hasn’t arrived yet. And you wonder, “Should I continue to wait?” After a while you just give up and go on to what you would’ve done if you hadn’t been waiting.
The disciples of Jesus were waiting…because he’d told them to. But on the first day of the Feast of the Pentecost it had been 50 days since he’d told them to wait. And still they waited. I wonder if we’d have been as patient.
So, on this day God’s Holy Spirit comes into the room where they’re all gathered. I wonder if any of them had thought that this might be the day Jesus had told them about. Do you suppose any of them had a premonition that today was the day they’d been waiting for?
What do you suppose they occupied themselves with while they were waiting? Did they go to the Bible, the Hebrew Bible, and read again what Jesus had taught them about before he was carried up to heaven? Were they cramming for the test they knew was coming? Don’t you wonder?
Haven’t you ever wondered what was going through their minds as they waited? We’ve had the advantage of the whole written word and still we can’t get our heads around what happened. And did some get tired of waiting and go home, back to their old lives? Don’t you wonder sometimes what they did?
Surely they had questions. Maybe that’s what they did. Someone would ask the question for the day then the discussions started. Were they thinking about how they were going to make disciples and baptize people from every nation in the world? That’s almost too much for us to grasp so can you imagine what they were thinking?
And then came the sound of the rushing wind. Have you wondered what the sound was like? Was it like the wind Wednesday that whipped the flags and brought down leaves from the trees? Did it have the roar of a tornado as it came into the room? What did it sound like, and could everyone hear it? Could they feel the power of the wind as it entered the room?
I wonder if some of the disciples had dozed off like I do when I’m waiting. Imagine their surprise when the sound filled the room and disturbed their catnap. I’m sure they looked at each other with wonderment and maybe a little bit of fear. Then they saw the tongues like fire atop the heads of those across from them. And then, each of them began to speak in different languages. The Spirit was creating chaos and it may have taken them a while to figure out what was happening.
But then Peter got it! Everything came together for him and he knew what was going on. All that studying and listening to Jesus teach paid off. He remembered what was prophesied by Joel. God had promised that his Spirit would be poured on everyone. Some would spout prophetic statements, some would preach, some would see things they’d never seen before, and some would have weird dreams. Joel said it would happen to men and women. God’s Spirit would be poured on everyone. Peter understood and then he began to talk to the multitude gathered outside the room.
That’s what happened then. Have you ever thought, “What’s God’s Spirit doing today?” Instead of us waiting for the Spirit is the Spirit waiting and wondering and asking questions of those of us who still don’t get it? Could that be?
May God’s Spirit fill this room and all who are here with his breath and fire. Lord, let it be so. Amen.