Acts 2:1-21 – Pentecost – for Sunday, May 15, 2016
“Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:2)
We were hunkered in a Wisconsin basement, watching water gush through the edges of a closed window. A summer storm raged, its straight-line winds** later calculated at 100mph. No tornado ever developed, but the brief ferocity caused destruction across our region. While the rain penetrating every miniscule fissure and flaw in the window’s frame was unnerving, the outside sound seemed worse.
The wind mimicked the proverbial roar of a freight train. It was as if individual cracks of thunder coalesced into a steady, unrelenting blur of noise. Louder became louder became louder.
The storm rampaged past our rented condo and neighborhood. Suddenly the basement filled with an eerie, startling . . .
My wife and I had scooped up our two cats with surprising ease in anticipation of the storm. Now they nervously meowed from a basement corner. Like us, maybe they wondered it there’d be more, and worse, in the next seconds.
It was over.
But I kept hearing the seconds-that-felt-like-hours roar, as if all creatures in creation were screaming at the top of their lungs.
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In the Acts of the Apostles, when Jesus’ disciples were more a band of uncertain stragglers, it was sound that first announced their shift into a community of faith seeking to transform the world.
Pentecost may be the least of the major celebrations in the Christian church, a shy sister compared to its brash and flashy Christmas and Easter siblings, but it helps recall an inexplicable, extraordinary event. Continue reading →