Scripture Focus: Acts 2:1-4
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Reflection: Firefall of the Spirit
By Jilian Brown
In the ten days following the ascension, Jesus’ disciples clung to His promise, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24.49) What sort of power? Would it be physical power or characterized by an inner knowing? Surely the disciples could not guess what form their “clothing” would take.Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, was the grain festival fifty days after Passover. (Leviticus 23.15) Due to its late spring date, this festival was often the most heavily attended by Jewish foreigners due to favorable weather and travel conditions. This was an optimal time for the message of Christ to go forth to many nations. The tongues of fire which swept through the upper room and landed on each person present were reminiscent of the guiding presence of God in the burning bush with Moses and the pillar of fire for the wandering Israelites. It was unmistakable that these flames were His spirit falling.
In Yosemite National Park, there is a phenomenon called “Firefall.” It only takes place around the second week of February and only if conditions are perfect. If winter snowfall was adequate that year and the temperature is warm enough to melt the snow, the runoff at Horsetail Fall is hit by sunset light to create the miraculous illusion of a fire waterfall.
The conditions were not only perfect, but pre-ordained that Pentecost day. The harvest of souls was ready and the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit upon the disciples sparked the birth of Christ’s church. The three thousand added that day were able to take the saving message of Christ back to their corners of the world where His grace was able to pour forth on the nations just as Joel prophesied. (v.17-21)
The firefall of the Spirit is always perfectly timed and always flows through individuals toward communities. The gifts of the indwelling Holy Spirit are available to all who will “repent and be baptized.” (v.38) Our fire may take the shape of a hand of service or a dollar sign of generosity instead of a tongue of language, but every gift is given for the purpose of building up the church. (Ephesians 4.11-16) What is your firefall? To whom is it flowing? It is meant to be shared.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Bless God in the congregation; bless the Lord, you that are of the fountain of Israel. — Psalm 68.26
Read more about Too Much to Hold
“God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”