This year, approaching the Day of Pentecost, my teenage daughter and I have been reading the book of Acts. For myself I am seeing it through new eyes as my daughter reads it for the first time. After making a commitment to Christ at this year’s Easter Camp, she has been hungry for God’s word. We have read the book daily until we recently finished it, and during this precious time I felt growing excitement at her desire to learn and understand, and deep thankfulness to God for hearing the prayer of my heart prior to Easter Camp, that she would have a touch of his spirit. Indeed he surpassed what I asked for, and ‘poured’ out his spirit out upon her.
But it is a pouring out we celebrate, this Day of Pentecost. The same God who lit the disciples and new believers alight with the fire of his spirit still ignites his fire in our hearts and changes lives today. I rediscovered the poem below written a couple of years back when looking for one for Pentecost. The picture by Michael Durana (courtesy of Unsplash), perfectly matches a poem which attempts to capture the power of God, which through the gift of his Holy Spirit resides in and works through us. It is a mystery, it is beyond comprehension, the wonderful truth of God in us. As we become more aware of who God is, we grow in awe that he would make his home in us.
This Pentecost I pray that you have new awareness of his indwelling presence. God’s purpose for his spirit to indwell his people, is twofold. It is for us, for just as Jesus told his disciples it was best that he must go so that the comforter might come (John 16:7), the Holy Spirit assures us we are never alone, and will always know the comfort of his loving presence. But it is also for others – it is his power working through us to love and heal the world, “as you sent me into the world, I send them into the world and I consecrate myself to meet their need for growth in truth and holiness. I am not praying for these alone but also for the future believers who will come to me because of the testimony of these. My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are. Father – that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.” (John 17:18-21)
God of the storm
is living in me…
The infinite power,
all consuming, overwhelming.
A furnace of energy where the
thunder is stored,
and where the lightening is born,
resides in me?
Who makes moons that draw oceans,
stars to navigate by.
Whose vastness who can comprehend,
whose footstool is the sky,
is contained by me?
Who gave His only Son.
Love that can only be measured by His suffering.
Hanging on the cross,
the cross ‘between the trees’,
dying for me?
So that He might be resurrected, so that I might be redeemed
that He would dwell in me?
Oh Great God
Who encloses and indwells me,
with the heartbeat of the blessed Trinity.
Whose river of living water
arises from eternity.
Never let me forget the truth of your presence.
For he who seeks you only without,
fails to know the rivers of delight
which flow from our innermost selves.
Oh Great God
Consume me, fill and transform me.
Not only with head knowledge,
but with a heart forever bonded
in relationship, in union with
You – Father, Holy Spirit,
Son of God.
Ana Lisa de Jong
‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
In those days I will pour out my Spirit
even on my servants–men and women alike–
and they will prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18; Joel 2:28-29)
Thank you Ana Lisa for this beautiful poem and reflection, seeing Pentecost afresh through the eyes of your daughter.