I love cities. They can be so full of life and excitement: but they can also be suffocating, claustrophobic. I was once staying with my brother Michael in a small apartment in the middle of Manchester, England, one August weekend. It was hot and oppressive. So we took off into the country, the lovely Peak District, which is a bit like the hills of Vermont. We climbed for hours up to the top of one of the highest hills called Kinder Scout. We were exhausted, but wonderfully exhilarated. We drank in the air in great thirsty gulps and as we breathed we felt intoxicated by the fresh air and the amazing views…and we started leaping around and shouting and screaming with sheer delight. A couple of hikers below us looked up and I think they probably thought we were drunk.
Today is the Day of Pentecost. On this day the gift of divine power came down upon the disciples, and there was no mistaking it, for it was accompanied by an experience which pounded their senses. Divine power was invading them. An intense catastrophic experience; a rushing wind, tongues of fire; a power beyond human lives invading human lives. Tongues like fire rested on each of them and they then began to speak in other languages. It must have been an extraordinary scene, the disciples as amazed as everyone else. Perhaps they were leaping around in their ecstatic state. No wondered some scoffed and said, “They are filled with new wine!” (Acts 2:13)