So, Jesus had ascended to heaven and his followers had returned to Jerusalem where they spent time praying together. Then, on the day of Pentecost there was a roaring wind and the disciples saw what looked like small flames appearing above each of their heads.
The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit: Gods presence entered into them and began to work through them. They were so excited that people thought they were drunk. They stopped looking inwards and began to rush outwards.
The Jewish festival of Pentecost involved thanking God for the harvest and remembering the giving of the 10 commandments (giving us a way to follow God). God chose this day for a new start. He gave the Holy Spirit, who is available always and not just seasonally, as something for us to really give thanks for. The Spirit being available for all believers shows the opportunity for a new way of knowing God, a way of knowing him rather than just following his commands.
I’m part of a facebook group for assembly ideas and yesterday someone suggested using popcorn as an illustration in a Pentecost themed assembly. The kernels represent the disciples, hidden away (in the popcorn maker) and then when you introduce heat and noise like the wind they puff up and burst into something wonderful! I think that this is genius and want to thank Jo Vinegarette for sharing it.
Good analogies help you to understand things, but great analogies transform the way you think about something. I would put this popcorn analogy in the great category. Here are four specific thoughts I have had as a result of it:
1. I do so often feel ordinary and not very effective, but when I am full of the Spirit then I can fulfil my purpose and do great things.
2. Heat is needed to transform the kernels and God’s spirit is at work amongst the most painful situations of my life transforming me.
3. As the kernels change they also pop and move. It makes me sad that so much emphasis and expectation that surrounds the work of the Holy spirit is confined to church meetings; that we should huddle together away from the world for longer to be with God more. In the book of Acts, I would say that the sign of being filled with the Spirit is that you immediately have the desire to go out and tell people about Jesus.
4. The kernels collectively are small compared to the large amount of popcorn that is produced. The Holy Spirit takes what we have and enhances and makes it so much greater. The next time you feel inadequate or that you don’t have enough to serve God, pause and realize that God has everything you need. Pray to be filled with the Spirit and rely on God.
What have I missed? What does the analogy remind you of about the work of the Spirit? I hope that you will take the time to comment below if you have any thoughts.