acts 2:1-11; 1 corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; john 20:19-23
a ship strayed off course near san diego and got stuck in a reef at low tide. twelve tugboats could not budge it. finally, the captain instructed the tugs to leave, and waited until high tide. a few hours later, the rising tide lifted that ship and put it back into the channel. what human power could not do, the rising tide of the ocean did!
something similar happened to the apostles on the day of pentecost. they were stuck in «low tide» in the upper room. they were afraid after JESUS’ crucifixion, and confused by his post-resurrection appearances.
at pentecost, the power of the SPIRIT lifted them and put them into their «channel»: from being fearfully locked behind closed doors, they moved with bold freedom out into the open; from being silent spectators, they became vibrant preachers of the gospel; from being a cluster of individuals, they became a community and a church with a definite mission and mandate to be agents of peace and reconciliation.
the same SPIRIT—which JESUS «breathed on» the apostles and which descended on them «like a strong driving wind»—is within us. he lifts us from the «low tides» of our lives… when we allow him. he helps us also move from fear to freedom; from silence to proclamation; from being individuals to being community; from division to reconciliation… when we are open to his working within us.
will i allow the SPIRIT to lift me and transform me? do i foster peace? what steps do i need to take to build peace and forge reconciliation?