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Saturday, June 07, 2003

Second Wind-Cue up some old Billy Joel and this essay from Richard Hall on Pentecost Sunday tomorrow
Good Friday had taken the wind from their sails. The disciples remained wracked with fear for the next seven weeks. Now, gathered in the Upper Room in the early morning of the first Pentecost Sunday, they struggled as individuals filled with uncertainty, gloom and emptiness. When the wind of Pentecost blew, they were transformed - they found faith, hope and love. The first chapter of Genesis speaks of the Spirit of God moving over chaos - the result of that movement was new life, transformation, new possibilities. The Spirit that moved at the creation is the same Spirit who empowered the disciples at Pentecost and creates the Church. The movement of the Spirit never stops. In every age and place the Spirit of God is at work inside the Church and out of it, creating new life and offering fresh gifts of faith, hope and love. Pentecost changed the Resurrection for the disciples from an event that happened to Jesus into an event that happened to them and gave them the strength to offer that resurrection experience to others. It still happens today. The transforming power of the Holy Spirit is still at work to give us a "second wind" and fill us with the same gifts of faith, hope and love that were so evident in the church following Pentecost. These are gifts not just for the chosen few, but for the whole people of God.
Don't think you have to start speaking in toungues or start handling snakes in order to acknowledge the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. I'm not sure I have something that qualifies as a prayer language, but the Holy Spirit helps me nonetheless. Tony Campolo had a book out a decade or so ago titled How to be Pentecostal Without Speaking in Tongues. While I don't agree with Campolo on economics and foreign policy, we have some room for agreement here. The Holy Spirit transforms lives in many ways, most of which aren't healings, words of knowledge or prophetic toungues. We as Christians are at a loss if we ignore the third person of the Trinity, for we then will ignore the peace, wisdom and discernment that flows from Him.

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