And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. – Acts 2:2-3
Peter Parker was bit by a radioactive spider and became the Amazing Spider-Man. Bruce Banner was hit by an experimental explosion of gamma rays and became the Incredible Hulk. A group of disciples had flaming tongues dropped on their heads and they became Christ’s Glorious Church. This event was our origin story. This is the beginning of the movement that we are a part of today. The Church is a movement, not because it hosts the best potlucks, nor because it has such wonderful buildings, nor because it has such great people in it, nor because it has a bunch of forgiven people in it. Those are all wonderful things to have, but the Church of Jesus Christ is a movement because it is Super-Powered. The Church is powered by the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit, we are a very large and committed social club who like to get dressed up in our nice clothes on Sunday mornings.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church (which also happens to be an individual gift to each and every believer who has ever lived), is actually the way that God brings us into the very union that is shared within the eternal relationship of God that we call Trinity.
C.S. Lewis explains it this way…
“The union between the Father and the Son is such a live concrete thing that this union itself is also a Person. I know this is almost inconceivable, but look at it thus. You know that among human beings, when they get together in a family, or a club, or a trade union, people talk about the ‘spirit’ of that family, or club, or trade union. They talk about its ‘spirit’ because the individual members, when they are together, do really develop particular ways of talking and behaving which they would not have if they were apart. It is as if a sort of communal personality came into existence. Of course, it is not a real person: it is only rather like a person. But that is just one of the differences between God and us. What grows out of the joint life of the Father and Son is a real Person, is in fact the Third of the three Persons who are God.” – C.S. Lewis
And this is the Person who we call the Holy Spirit. When Jesus poured out this Person on those earliest disciples with those tongues of fire, Jesus was also inviting them into the union and the power and the love that Jesus has always shared with His Father. This has been the invitation ever since that day. The Triune God is inviting you, “Come, enter into the family of God… be changed… take on our DNA… be filled with what fills Us.” The Spirit was our origin story, but it is also our story today.