The story of Pentecost is one of the strangest accounts in the Bible. “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues of fire appeared to them and rested on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).
Weird, right? Wind inside a house and tongues of fire and speaking in tongues… that’s the image we usually have of the Holy Spirit in relation to us. We envision being caught up in a mighty wind, our heads catching on fire, and speaking in other tongues. On Pentecost, the Spirit was visible and obvious. Since he’s not as visible and obvious now, we assume we don’t have the Spirit – or at least, we don’t have him in the same way.
However, this week’s Psalm tells us that the Spirit is always with us. “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and you right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you” (Psalm 139:7-12).
The Spirit may not come to us in tongues of fire or inspire us to speak in other languages, but we can rest assured that he is with us. Indeed, we cannot escape him! And because we know that, we can seek to make the Spirit visible and obvious in our lives as well. Whenever we interact with someone else, whether it be in person, over the phone, or on social media, we can show that we have the Spirit through exhibiting the unique gifts he has given to us. If we manage to make other people say, “That person is strange because of their faith,” we will know that we have succeeded.