Gifts all around us

John 20:19-23; Acts 2:1-21; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

What happens to a person when the Holy Spirit suddenly descends like a tongue of fire? The first clue we have is in Acts, where the Spirit came and what seemed empty was suddenly and surprisingly full. “The entire house in which they were” was filled with a noise like a driving wind, and those present “were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” When the Spirit arrives, fullness is the order of the day.

We all long to be filled. We all seek fulfillment. I saw this plainly years ago when I was conducting a spiritual retreat for men who were members of various 12-step groups. They were all at different stages in their recovery. Each spoke powerfully and with great immediacy about the emptiness he had felt in his life and how the pain of that emptiness had led him down many a wayward path in futile attempts to fill that hole. Each man had discovered that “you can never get enough of that which will not satisfy.”

 

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