Empowered by the Spirit

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Acts 2

And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. (v. 2)

The wild wind broke thick branches off trees. Indeed, the gale swirled and snapped entire trees, wide as a grown man, right in two. One fell on our canoe; another almost fell on us. This summer wind was fierce and uncontrollable, and nestled down in our thin nylon tent, we prayed it would soon go away.

Today is Pentecost, that day in the church year when we remember and celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. But this Pentecost Spirit (“wind” in both Hebrew and Greek) is the selfsame Spirit who formed creation (Genesis 1) and animates all living things (Psalm 104). The empowering Spirit of redemption is none other than the empowering Spirit of creation. And this energizing, life-giving Spirit comes at Pentecost to animate and empower a ragtag group of Jesus followers to be a community of servants bearing the image of Christ the Servant-King. This fierce wind, too, is uncontrollable. Too often we pray for it to go away. We should, rather, strive to be filled by this untamed Holy Spirit, and empowered to live in the ways that make for peace.


O empowering Spirit, guide us in the ways of shalom, even if we are made uncomfortable.