Signs of the Holy Spirit
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Acts 2:1-4 (Read the entire account)
Jesus gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to his disciples in Jerusalem on Pentecost. That same gift is given to us and makes it possible for us to accept and claim God’s gifts of peace, mercy, justice, and love. The gift of the Holy Spirit created a new group of people, a new community of believers, a new church. We are a part of that community for the Spirit is given to individuals and groups today.
Signs of the Spirit among the disciples: tongues of fire, wind, boldness of speech, noise, ability in other languages, witnessing to the life of Jesus, thousands baptized. Signs of the Spirit in our day: wisdom to deal with difficulties including a pandemic, anger control, peace advocacy, ability to discern God at work in our world, service to those in need, proclaiming words of hope, advocating for justice. Signs of the Spirit are in our midst. Do we see them and experience them in our lives?
“You call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes,
from the bondage of sorrow the captives dream dreams,
our women see visions, our men clear their eyes,
with bold new decisions your people arise.
Spirit, Spirit of gentleness
blow through the wilderness
calling and free;
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness,
stir me from placidness
Wind, Wind on the sea.”
– James K. Manley
“The Holy Spirits stirs things up! It is much easier to keep doing what we’ve been doing and living as we want to live, than to change and be disrupted. If the walls we or the Church have erected are too high or too strong, even the Holy Spirit will have a hard time penetrating our closed minds and hearts.
God’s Spirit is not always the wind or the fire. God’s spirit can and often is the ‘still small voice’ that is within each of us. Sometimes that voice speaks through a friend or relative. Sometimes that voice comes from the depths of God’s spirit in whose image each of us is made. Listen and look carefully at the ordinary in your life, for it just might be the presence of the Holy.
Our world is rife with messages and signatures of the Spirit. Our encounters with one another are potential siges of the awakening and energizing that characterize the Spirit. But so much goes unnoticed…We are too busy to name the event that is blessed in its ordinariness, holy in its uniqueness, and grace-filled in its challenge”
– Joan Puls
Note: These reflections are for use during the week of May 31- June 6 and are based on the scriptures for worship on May 31.
Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.