The gentle feeling of ecstasy, of being overwhelmed and cocooned in love, a feeling of such deep and quiet joy that causes silent tears to roll down your cheeks, and the feeling of a soft and quiet peace that flows over with warmth all over your whole body.
When Pentecost day came round, the apostles had all met in one room when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages and the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2 verses 1-11, Jerusalem Bible
That’s how I feel the Divine Spirit, present within me and in my everyday life. Sometimes it is quiet like a gentle trickle from the bathroom tap, or soft like the sound of the wind in the leaves, the ‘Ruah’; other times I’m not paying attention and I’m distracted by the many mini (or major) dramas of the day that appear to require some form of fire-fighting. Then I come back to the present moment and my breathing, and slowly, conciously direct myself back to the Spirit within, and back to allowing myself to feel the love all around me, and to reconnect with Peace.
I wonder how the early apostles felt when the Holy Spirit rested on them, an event many Christians celebrate as the Feast of Pentecost, which we celebrate today. It must have been truly remarkable……………………. I love how Terence has captured the many feelings within the facial expressions of the apostles in this painting. The Bible describes ‘tongues of fire’ as the Holy Spirit resting on the apostles……. I wonder if that meant there was a warmth that was felt in the body, or a glow, or perhaps that just signifies the awesome power of the Holy Spirit, of God.
You shall receive power (ability, efficiency and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…..and you shall be my witnesses….. to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.Acts of the Apostles chapter 1 verse 8, the Amplified Bible
I love how Joyce Meyer explains,
” The Holy Spirit is the enabling power of God, and when He comes into our lives we become more powerful. We might even say that our power level is dependent on the level that we surrender to Him. Have you surrendered every room in your heart to the Holy Spirit? Have you invited Him into every area of your life, or do you reserve certain areas for yourself where you want no interference from anyone, not even God? Spiritual maturity is a process. We release areas of our lives to the Lord little by little. The more we release to Him, the better our lives become.Joyce Meyer, Everyday Life Bible Amplified version, commentary on Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1 verse 8, p.1734
Much food for thought?
The more I look at this painting, the more I want to keep looking. Watching, imagining, and connecting more deeply with the Divine Spirit within me. Within us all, if we invite Him into our lives.
But the fruit of the (Holy) Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence).Galatians chapter 5, verses 22-23, Amplified Bible
These are the fruits of the Spirit which we start to notice in varying degrees within ourselves; ‘the work which His presence within accomplishes’ – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are gorgeous juicy fruits which we hope will start to grow within us, with love taking its place as the first beautiful fruit.
I see much love in the faces of the painting. What else do you see?
Which parts of this piece resonate with you the most?
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Tessa Fyffe, Pentecost Sunday, May 23 2021, London, UK.