Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty
Soon after a tornado disaster in the US, I saw aerial
photographs of its path. Entire neighborhoods
were flattened. From the high angle of the
photographer’s shot, all of the wood and debris looked
like scattered, splintered toothpicks, tossed violently over
a wide swath of city blocks. Devastation. Wind provides
an immense source of power (which is why windgenerated
energy receives so much research). Whenever
wind runs wild, however, it can be a frightening and
Luke described the Spirit of God as sounding like a
“mighty windstorm” (Acts 2:2) as He “filled the house
where [the disciples] were sitting” (v.2). And the Holy
Spirit came with power and energy. People from all the
gathered nations began to hear the gospel spoken in
their native tongue. The people of the city, some sneering
and some marveling, stopped in their tracks to hear
Peter’s explanation of the phenomenon that had taken
place. The apostles, empowered by the Spirit, began to
do “many miraculous signs and wonders” (v.43).
The most powerful repercussion of the Spirit’s effects
was the radical new community that emerged. This
community shared their possessions, yielded their lives to
the teaching that Jesus had left behind, and began to live
out the ethic required of all His disciples (vv.43-47). This
new community (what would come to be known as the
church) ate meals together. They worshiped. They sang to God. They cared for
the sick. They began to be a new kind of people—the Jesus kind.
Writer Inagrace Dietterich captured this well: “When the Holy Spirit transforms
the life and practice of Christian communities, they demonstrate that God’s
promised future has been set in motion.” We still encounter the Spirit’s wind.
And the Spirit still invites us to follow.
Look back over Acts 2:1. What do you think are the connections
between the so-called “extraordinary” miracles (tongues, wonders) and
the so-called “ordinary” miracles (sharing possessions, obeying
Where do you sense the Spirit blowing in your life? How is the Spirit
inviting you to follow and obey today?