spirit & fire

What do you imagine it would be like for God to pour out God’s spirit on all people?  What would it feel like? How would the world be affected? What would happen?

Pentecost comes 40 days after the resurrection.  Jesus has appeared to the disciples numerous times since Easter.  He has spent weeks reiterating his teachings and highlighting the most important themes, then he ascends to heaven promising to send the spirit of God to be with his followers.  Things are still uncertain for the followers, until one day, there is a sound “like the rush of a violent wind” and bits of fire rested on each of them.  Suddenly, they began speaking in languages they did not know, languages from all around their world.  People in Jerusalem who were from all sorts of other places are amazed to hear someone talking about God’s deeds of power in their own language.

Peter addresses the crowd and explains that these men are not drunk, but they are fulfilling the words of the prophet Joel who says, “In the last days . . . I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” When the spirit of God comes to the people, they will have a new and deeper understanding of what God is doing, and new insights into the future God is bringing about.

We believe that the spirit of God is here, in the world. The spirit of God brings us insight into God’s work, motivation to be part of making change, courage to take on challenging (sometimes nearly impossible) tasks. Tongues like fire are an apt image – God’s sprit enlightens our understanding, warms and moves us to action, and “lights a fire” under us to make things happen.  While I might prefer the spirit of God to be more like a quiet candle, calm and comforting, at Pentecost the spirit of God shows up as a bit of fire igniting the disciples and moving them to spread the news of God.

While I’ve been following Jesus, I have not encountered tongues of fire, but I do sometimes feel a fiery motivation to reach out to someone in need, or speak up for compassion and justice, or call for change in a hurtful status quo.  In moments of quiet prayer, I often want the spirit of God to fill me with peace, yet I know that God calls me to actively care for my neighbor and the world, to speak out for the powerless and vulnerable, to work against injustice. The love of God is neither static nor quiet – God’s love and presence are sometimes like a blaze; burning hot, moving us to action, changing the world.        



weekly prayer | God’s spirit and the disciples in Acts 2   

Write To Us:

    Contact Us:

    Lutheran Campus Ministry 211A Pasquerilla Spiritual Center University Park, PA 16802
    (814) 865-0715 |

    Find Us:

    Student Signup

    Friends & Supporters Newsletter Signup