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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Peals of Pentecost

"Pentecost and the public life" is the subject of an exciting article at First Things . Here's a snippet:

What does a Spirit-filled society look like? We should ask what it sounds like. For the first thing Paul says is that the Spirit makes us noisy. “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,” he says (Eph. 5:18). Though he condemns drunkenness, Paul implies that the result of being filled with the Spirit is quite similar to the result of being filled with spirits. “They are filled with new wine,” said the skeptics about the babbling disciples at Pentecost (Acts 2:13). It was a plausible mistake.

For Paul, the Spirit doesn’t make us placid and mild, quiet and retiring. When we’re filled with the Spirit, we cannot not speak, and our speech breaks out in boisterous psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Being filled with the Spirit means being filled with music, in our mouths and in our hearts. A marriage filled with the Spirit is full of noise, harmonious and melodious noise, joyful noise. C.S. Lewis wrote that a Christian society would be a joyful society, rollicking, lighthearted, exuberant. Paul agreed.

It's a short, but encouraging read.