By Nancy Shuman
The painting on this post is extra large. It breaks across boundaries, crosses neat edges of the sidebar, and in effect has this blog bursting at the seams.
At first, I was going to make the image smaller. Then I realized: this
is a picture of Pentecost, and a painting bursting through the
boundaries may actually have something to show us.
The Holy Spirit of God burst into our world on Pentecost. Not
with a gentle whisper - not this time. He came suddenly, with noise
like a strong, driving wind. Tongues as of fire appeared and came to
rest on each person. As we are told in Acts 2, all were filled with the
Holy Spirit, expressing themselves in foreign tongues and making bold
proclamation. There was so much noise that it drew quite a crowd. The
onlookers were "confused," "amazed," "astonished," "dumbfounded."
Peter, who had once denied Jesus out of fear, stood up and proclaimed
boldly what the Spirit was doing.
The events of that day certainly did not fit into neat, tidy
categories. Suddenly, the world the apostles had known was bursting at
The shaken onlookers had never seen anything like this. "What are we to
do?" they asked. Peter, now emboldened, had an answer. "You must
reform and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ,
that your sins may be forgiven; then you will receive the gift of the
Holy Spirit. It was to you and your children that the promise was made,
and to all those still far off whom the Lord our God calls." (Acts
Continue reading at Nancy's blog The Cloistered Heart.
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