Life gets shaped by milestones, those events or passages which bring significant and permanent change to bear. Some at the top of the list may be high school graduation, getting a driver’s license, finishing higher education, getting married, having that first baby, achieving a long fought for weight loss, or level of fitness, goal. These are momentous enough that we may say something like: “I can’t believe it!” by which we mean the extent of the reality hasn’t quite sunk in. I remember, following high school graduation, and working at my first full time job, feeling oddly hollow, misplaced maybe, to not be heading back to school with all the other students. Or a short time after getting married, referring to Sue as my wife caused a strange sensation like maybe this was a dream (actually, it still feels that way when I think of her).

Life’s losses are likewise absorbed only in small doses: the loss of a relationship, the loss of a family member through death, the loss of full, youthful vitality with age, the loss of a job, etc. The facts are understood but the long-term impact oozes Oh! so slowly into our spirits as we are able to receive them. This is especially the case when a loved one dies. The grieving lingers over a period of many months, sporadically surfacing (sometimes disconcertingly) at random times because of a stray thought, the mention of the person’s name, an activity that brings them suddenly to mind, etc.

Regarding our salvation, the implications are many and wide-ranging. I mean, this is an eternal ‘milestone!’ Eternal, y’all! That alone renders full comprehension beyond our scope! (well, beyond mine). To grasp any new subject matter (let alone salvation!), we start with what little we know and build incrementally from there. So, reading Scripture can, if we’re honest, be reduced to being just a reading assignment (I remember being a Bible School student where we were strongly urged to have ‘daily morning devos’ which were to include Scripture reading and prayer. Great idea! But when you were to be at breakfast at 6:30 AM to make it to your piano practice room by 7 AM, let’s just say teenage vim and vigor were at their nadir).

The tornado sound effects and fiery tongues at Pentecost were not just for drama. They powerfully demonstrated the breadth and intensity of this Third Person of the Trinity. Jesus, speaking with Nicodemus, said, ‘For the Spirit-wind blows as it chooses. You can hear its sound, but you don’t know where it came from or where it’s going.’ John 3:8 TPT. He was to be, and remain, a mystery. And at Pentecost, He ‘moved in’ with every Spirit-awakened heart with His multi-faceted role ready and eager to do the Father’s bidding. We’re the awakened hearts of 2024, but are we awake?  PD

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