The sender of the Holy Spirit

Fire and smoke.

40 Names of Jesus in 40 days of Lent — Day 44

Pentecost 2022

John the Baptist saud:

11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Matthew 3:11-12 ESVUK

Jesus said:

26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

John 15:26

“Come, Holy Spirit.”

Being autistic I like my theology to be well ordered, quite frankly the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit is a bit of a mess:

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”

Acts 2:2-3 NIV UK

A sound like a blowing wind, what seemed to be tongues of fire (my bold) — this is too vague, not the cosy theology I like. It does not say there was an actual strong wind or actual fire, in both cases the language is too vague. Whatever happened the people present did not have the language to express what it was. What happened was that God poured the Holy Spirit out on his Church.

The Holy Spirit is the presence of Jesus in the absence of Jesus. Jesus promised that he would send the Spirit and after his ascension, it was poured out on the disciples and thousands of people became Christians, from countries to the North, South, East and West of Judea. The prophecy of Joel, that the Spirit will be poured out on all flesh had become to come true. The Spirit is available to all who believe in Jesus. As this is Pride month I’ll take an aside and point out that this promise of the Spirit is for all flesh, not just straight flesh. All means all.

Christianity did not start with Christmas, with the crucifixion of Jesus, the resurrection or even the ascension of Jesus. Christianity started when the Holy Spirit fell on timid people who met in private afraid of the authorities and transformed them into people who boldly went out and preached the Gospel.

If you don’t pray any other prayer this week, try this one. It’s only three words. The prayer is. “Come Holy Spirit.”

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