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 as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
The "vacation" included 1,720 highway miles back and forth across Interstate 70, the asphalt cummerbund of the country. Strapped into their safety seats like tiny cosmonauts were an insatiably curious four-year-old boy and his ebullient three-year-old brother. There are lots of questions to ask in 29 hours on the road! And in western Kansas, the horizon is punctuated by crops of enormous windmills. They stand over 260 feet tall, with wingspans of nearly 250 feet. Turning slowly in the Mid-American wind, they beckon those questions like mesmerizing sirens of the prairie.
"Why are those there, Grandpa?" "They make electricity from the wind," I answered, foolishly thinking that would do it. "How?" Then came my ridiculous soliloquy about generators, and magnetic flux, and wire coils, and other mumbo-jumbo that didn't even make sense to me. What I should have given the boys was the observation and not an explanation. The powerful, invisible wind turns those blades. And the wind's power is changed into visible things like light and movement. But the light and movement began with the blowing wind. Exactly how that happens is hard to understand, but it's easy to see the results.
That's how Peter talked on that Pentecost morning when the power of the Holy Spirit blew across the early church. Something amazing happened, something frightening and mysterious. And when the stunned crowd asked the church's spokesman for an explanation, he gave them the observation. He told them that they were witnessing the one, true, invisible God making Himself visible through the changed hearts and actions of His followers. God had sent His Son to be the exact representation of the Father, said Peter. And now, the breathtaking, awe-inspiring reality is that God has sent the Holy Spirit to indwell His people. And why? To make His glories known, to make Himself visible in the lives of the "Christ's Ones." At last, the gathered people of God will live out their purpose—to bear God's image in God's world. They will be the body of Christ. We have seen it, said Peter, and so have you.
So what happened to the believers? When the wind of the Spirit blew into their hearts and transformed them, what characterized them? What was the visible outcome? They became a united people, empowered by God and characterized by, "...glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people." May we live out the powerful reality of God the Holy Spirit at work in our lives to make our Savior seen.