Spirit born

The in breaking of God to us is so varied and different. In the Old Testament we hear it from the prophets. God as voice, God as a burning bush, God as a cloud, God in strangers, and God in dreams. There is never one way that we can count on to see the in breaking of God into the world. The New Testament is just as varied God in a manger, God as love, God as Spirit coming in words, God in our weakness. 

So the Holy Spirits in breaking is no different. Even today we have two accounts of this. One from John 20 where Jesus breathes on the disciples in the upper room and the other in Acts through a mighty wind and the gift of speaking in people's own language. 

So the first thing to know is that God as Spirit is no more predictable in knowing the encounter when we experience it in our lives. We can't nail it down to a time or place and conveniently name this as the date and time. God doesn't work that way. Usually it's unexpected maybe even undeserved and always is out of the ordinary. There was a woman who had attended a gathering of Christians. People in the room at a certain time were telling her that the Holy Spirit was in the room and she didn't feel the same way. She was seeming to say by this that the people were wrong. I think maybe the Spirit comes at different times for us. The people in the room truly were sensing and experiencing this communal event, it didn't make their or her experience any less valid. The Spirit just is. 

This is the other point, the Spirit came to the community of faith to build it and strengthen that community. I think too often when we hear the story of Acts we think the Spirit came down for each individual. Coming upon each person in a different tongue, being heard by another in their own language. We tend to forget that Peter rounds out the day by telling all those gathered why this has happened, that a prophecy from Joel has been fulfilled that God's Spirit will be poured out on everyone so that all may be saved. 

The last point is the Spirit speaks to is in our own language. We don't have to seek the Spirit in the unfamiliar, but in the everyday where we least expect it. Whether this is in creation, in other people, at the bedside of those in great crisis, or in the language of words the Spirit travels those paths to reveal new truths to us. We just need to be attentive to the Spirits leading. May we open our hearts and minds to the new ways in which we are lead by the Spirit.