A reflection after Sunday’s sermon on Acts 2.
I read last week of one particular man's spiritual experience. The encounter did not happen too long ago. It could be the experience of many at dozens of Christian meetings in any city and all over the world. I quote the man:
- “[At the meeting], I felt as if some active energy were pouring heat, like a warm current into my whole being. I fell into inertia, and my body grew numb; I tried to speak, but my tongue no longer obeyed me and I gradually slipped into a drowsy state as though a powerful narcotic had been administered to me...”
Extraordinary, and powerful, right? Wait until you hear its explanation!
But first, let me make a reflection on Acts 2:
I realised when reading the story of Pentecost in Acts 2 that those present also had an extraordinary and powerful Spiritual encounter. They clearly had a wonderful experience.
The experience itself [without the explanation] left the crowd "amazed and perplexed" [V12]. To tell you the truth, on my first reading [and not having been present that day], it left me more perplexed than amazed!
There were two responses after their amazement. Some were curious: "What does this mean?" Others went down the more cynical path: "They should be at AA if they are going to start this early."
Here is the thing I noticed: The explanation of the spiritual experience was as powerful [maybe more powerful?] than the experience itself.
The experience produces an appropriate ‘wow’, but the gospel produces a saving ‘faith’.
When it comes to spiritual experience, is the explanation as powerful [or even more powerful] than the experience? Or ought experiences like this simply be enjoyed, without the cumbersome weight of too many words?
You tell me your thoughts.
Oh, and that spiritual experience I read last week? It was a book on the Russian Revolution. The next words in the account where:
- “...All I could see was Rasputin’s glittering eyes, like two beams of light drawing me near.”
Here endth the lesson.
PS Don't know Rasputin? Wiki Him. Scary dude.