Stories of the Spirit Moving...

Yesterday our church family looked at the story of the Spirit moving upon a group of folks in Acts 2. It was a dramatic moment surrounded by the miraculous and some 3000 people coming to Christ. When I read a story like this I wonder what it would be like to be swept up in such an obvious movement of the Spirit. There are times in history and times in each of our lives when the Spirit 'shows up' in ways that cannot be explained or denied. Such stories take my breath away in wonder. I'm really grateful for these stories. They remind me that I serve someone and something much bigger than me.

But I also wonder if there is a 'drift to the dramatic' that causes me to miss the movement of the Spirit. Maybe in looking for the dramatic I miss the everyday expressions of the Spirit's presence. As I reflect on my spiritual journey the Spirit's movement is rarely as dramatic as Acts 2. It is more often subtle and quiet. Easily missed. To see it requires something very different from me than showing up and being swept away...it requires a sensitivity that stays alert to the Spirit's movement around me...a way of living that sees the Spirit at work in the seemingly small and ordinary stuff of my life.

Last night we invited six younger couples (they're all younger these days) into our home for what has become a Valentine's Day tradition. After a candlelit dinner we all gathered in our living room. The men read letters they had written to their wives - affirming why they love them and how their years together have changed their lives. It's aways a very tender and touching evening with plenty of tears as couples experience the power of verbal blessing. As I listened to the stories last night I heard stories of faithfulness and forgiveness, believing the best in one another, sharing dreams together, standing together when life is hard, healing from painful family memories, and sharing life and laughter together.

We all sensed the Spirit's presence in this simple, quiet evening. Maybe more importantly we were all reminded of the Spirit's presence in the everyday experience of life together. In some ways such stories of the Spirit's movement are more dramatic than Acts 2 stories - it's where we all live. They are the stories of grace and redemption being lived out everyday. The question is do we see them...?

Fighting for your hearts,

Gary