Bringing the Text to Life

The Spirit Scale Acts 2:1-21

The Spirit Scale

On the day of Pentecost, a holy hurricane whipped through Jerusalem and blew away the expectations of all who were gathered there.

“I know it when I see it.”

That’s what Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said back in 1964. He was trying to get a handle on one of the trickiest issues faced by the court over the last half century — the definition of obscenity. About the best he could do, in an attempt to nail down a very slippery concept, was to say, “I know it when I see it.”

We can certainly sympathize with Justice Stewart. There are so many powerful forces in our lives, both positive and negative, that are difficult to measure. Think of Quality. Goodness. Kindness. Gratitude. Envy. Lust. And these difficulties are not limited to human characteristics — when you step out of the house in the morning, how do you define the beauty of a sunrise, the gracefulness of a robin, or, say — the strength of the wind?

The question of wind comes up, because a wind is mentioned in the text for today, and because we’re soon headed into hurricane season.

The wind. That’s...

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