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Resting

by | May 30, 2023 | Holy Spirit, Rest

“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 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.” (Acts 2:1-4 ESV)

What a wonderful day that must have been! God sent the Holy Spirit down on all those first Christians—men and women, rich and poor, high status and low—and they saw what looked like tongues of fire resting on each of them. And then right away the Holy Spirit put them to work—telling the Good News about Jesus to everyone in the city, native and foreigners alike, using their own languages.

It was a miracle! But you know that miracle didn’t keep going for days and days. Most of those people stopped speaking other languages pretty quickly. Their lives became normal again. Does that mean the Holy Spirit left them?

No, it certainly does not! The Bible says that the flames of fire they saw “rested” on each one of them. The Spirit did not come for one big show, and then leave town. No, He came to stay with them forever—whether there were flashy miracles going on or not.

The Spirit comes to us too, when we first come to faith in Jesus, whether that happens at our Baptism or some time before, when we hear the Good News of salvation. He is the One who makes it possible for us to trust in Jesus, who laid down His life to rescue us all from the power of evil. He is the One who makes us share in the everlasting life of Jesus, who rose from the dead and will never die again. The Spirit is God living within us, and He will never leave us or desert us.

Why, then, are our lives so quiet—so normal—sometimes, so difficult? If the Spirit is with us, why don’t we see Him doing incredible things the way He did on Pentecost? Jesus reminds us that most of God’s work happens in a much quieter way: “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come” (Mark 4:26-29).

As long as we belong to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is doing His work inside us—forgiving, cleansing, reshaping, and changing us to be more and more like Jesus. And this will go on lifelong.

We pray: Dear Father, thank You for the gift of Your Spirit. Strengthen my faith in Your Son Jesus and make me more and more like Him. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on May 24, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:
1. How do you think the first Christians felt when the day of Pentecost was over and life returned to normal?

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