Watching sports commentators is almost as entertaining as watching meteorologists predict the next day’s weather. “Hey, (person), what are the key things the team has to do today.” Then another commentator says something that really every team has to do. If the team does whatever it was well (and wins), then the commentator was “right on”. If the team didn’t do it well and lose, then the commentator was “right on”. The commentator, of course, determines if they were right on.
The meteorologist has to predict what all the contributing aspects (moisture, wind, cloud, geography) will do for tomorrow’s weather, which is impacted by the weather in other places. They have to be kind of close to keep their jobs, but while we may jest at often they get it wrong, hopefully, most of us understand that there are so many variables that it’s pretty hard to be spot on.
Jesus told his hearers (not just his disciples) to anticipate the (Holy) Spirit. He might as well been speaking in tongues or English (which didn’t yet exist). They didn’t get it. How can you really understand getting something that has been “gotten” for everyone…ever?
Jesus had presence. We often dismiss it as, “of course, he’s God.” Yet, one of the prophetic verses applied to the Messiah was that he wasn’t much to look at. He was of average appearance. His words, though, felt like they meant something.
When you don’t have the framework, however, to understand the words, they may impress you with their seeming importance, but you still don’t get it. You may hear a Nobel prize-winning scientist speak, and you may well understand that whatever it is might be important, but that doesn’t mean you’ll understand it.
Imagine being foreward that something world-overturning was coming, and having no clue what any of it meant. Imagine looking back and wondering, “why didn’t I understand then?” Sometimes the experience so that we understand is more important than the knowledge one could also have to understand, for experience will often affect us to the depths of our soul.
- When was the last time you had an “I should have seen that” experience? What did you learn from it? What might you have not learned had you had the knowledge?
- How do you interact with people you don’t understand, whether you think they are smarter than you, or too different from you? How do you still interact and treat them as equals?
- What do you expect of the Holy Spirit in your life? Why?
Lord, just as the wind we cannot see, so comes the promised Holy Spirit. Let us be prepared for the flames of faith to purify us for your will. Amen.