Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sunday Lectionary Devotions: A Pentecostal Spirit

Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (NIV)

Almost thirty years ago, I visited a university town in Spain called Valladolid (pronounced 'baya-dolith). It was originally a castle town and had some beautiful medieval buildings, cathedrals and colleges all over it. I was there with a friend of mine who had once trained to be a priest. We were visiting his old haunts and he introduced me to a lot of good Spanish people.

One evening, we went to a school building, where many people gathered together for prayer. Handicapped persons, people in wheelchairs, and all sorts of sick people were at the meeting. We sat in a circle, and the priest, who was leading the group, began to pray. Other people followed him and then I spoke my prayer. It was in English because I didn't have enough Spanish to put a sentence together. After I prayed, the priest interpreted and re-prayed my prayer. Once he had finished, a holy hush fell upon the room, and then, suddenly, people began singing in tongues.

I had never experienced anything like this before. It was beautiful and everyone, even those who were sick or sitting in wheelchairs joined in. The sound was like a hundred songs being sung at the same time, with different melodies and rhythms, but they harmonized perfectly. Then things began to quieten down, and after another time of silence, people started to go home.

It was a profound experience and one that I have never encountered again. The only explanation I can give is that the Holy Spirit descended upon all of us, and gave us a great gift of angelic song that evening. One glorious day, I hope to sing like that again, in the heavenly halls of glory, with millions upon millions of people and angels.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for sending the Holy Spirit amongst us and for giving Your Church a wonderful source of comfort and counsel, guidance and love. Fill our hearts with Your Holy Spirit and lead us by His presence in our lives. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

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