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The Descent of the Holy Spirit

May 1, 2018 by Kathryn Kimball

Imagine waking in the morning, gathering with friends around the table over morning coffee or tea, and recounting recent events, particularly the last words Jesus spoke before ascending into heaven. The last few weeks have been filled with amazing experiences for Jesus’ followers. (See Acts 1:8-14.) The cozy serenity of this upper room is suddenly interrupted by the sound of a howling, fierce wind. Scripture says, “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what appeared to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them” (Acts 2:2-3, NIV).

American artist Jason Jenicke captures this moment as though we are seated at the table. Mary the mother of Jesus — dressed in a bluish green wrap with her wrists crossed over her heart — sits across from us. As she looks toward a flame her face glows softly with the expression of one who recognizes a loved one entering the room. Her calm smile of awareness is comforting.

Jenicke’s depiction of each face reveals curiosity, awe, amazement and understanding. Do they see the flame over their own head or only above the others? What are they thinking? What are they feeling?

Perhaps the artist is presenting a question for us as well: Do you recognize the Holy Spirit in those around you and in your own life? The flame of the Holy Spirit is there for each us. Do you sense it?

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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