1. Bring a pair of clean underwear. When howling winds from heaven burst in and the tongues of flame appear above my head, I cannot be responsible for the actions of my digestive system. Pentecost is a sudden shock to the system.
2. Were I to ever appear on Shark Tank, I’d offer a “FIRE ABOVE YOUR HEAD” Hot Sauce.
3. The Holy Spirit is the Trinity’s Designated Hitter. The pitcher (Jesus) is on the bench. The Holy Spirit is now at bat. There is no church without the designated hitter rule.
4. The Holy Spirit is integral to understanding and translating the conversations I have every day. On a regular basis, I’ll say, “Them dingbatters done come over on the Hatteras ferry and are acting like a bunch of turons as far as I can tell. I didn’t see one O’cocker among them on the boat.” The Holy Spirit is not just a Pentecost phenomena. The spirit enables us to listen and learn in the present tense. Your language defines you. Our dialect makes sense to God. How does the equation change when someone actually listens? God speaks to you like a native.
5. People do start drinking early. I understand the crowd’s confusion. I see fishermen loading up with cases up beer at 9 am and headed out for a day of fishing and fun on the water. This is one part of the Pentecost story that rings true: people who like to get an early start on the day! What’s the multi-lingual/multinational crowd saying? The power of God looks, at first glance, like day drinking. I’ve seen my share of day drinking. It’s a bit of a thing here on the Outer Banks. Maybe the outpouring of God’s love does favor a group of good ole boys (a few beers in), with packed YETI coolers, standing in the back of a fishing boat telling stories about the most awesome thing that ever happened to them. OK, I get it. That’s what it looks like. Here’s the thing. Our 1st century fishermen aren’t drunk. They’re overwhelmed by God.
6. This was not Robert Tilton/TV preacher style speaking on tongues. I see them on television and I believe those guys are drunker than my buddies on the fishing boats. Acts tell us the disciples were speaking real foreign languages understood by real people. Chief Sitting Bull, had he been in Jerusalem, would have heard someone speaking on Lakota Sioux.
7. Sitting Bull wasn’t in Jerusalem. You get the point.