Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! Acts 2:13-15
There is a war taking place in every human soul. Like animals, we are biological creatures motivated by a deep instinct to survive. Unlike animals, we were created in the image of God, with a capacity to encounter God. We are flesh and bone just as much as we are soul and spirit. This reality causes humans to behave in bizarre ways.
Luke tells us that this story took place on Pentecost. Pentecost has come to represent the coming of the Holy Spirit to most Christians today, but it was first a Jewish festival called the Feast of Weeks. Part of the reason this diverse crowd was in the city was for this religious festival. Why is that significant? The crowds here are spiritual; they are people of faith. This crowd consisted of people who claimed to believe in God, yet they blame spirits rather than The Spirit when something miraculous happens.
There is the tension of being human. Our animalistic brains want to understand and explain every occurrence in our world. We want to understand and dispel unexplainable/terrifying experiences. Yet, in each of us, we have a God-given longing to encounter the supernatural. Humanity has always been obsessed with stories of superheroes or encounters with supernatural beings. We crave stories about life being more than the natural world we see, yet we dismiss the divine when we encounter it in our actual lives.
If you call yourself a follower of Jesus, you must remember that your faith demands a belief in something beyond understanding. If you fail to acknowledge that, you will miss when God speaks to you or shows up in some supernatural way. As people of faith, we often wander around wondering why we don’t see more evidence of God’s hand at the same time as we reject all things supernatural. Let’s not give the wine credit when it is the Spirit at work.
A spiritual practice of The Prayer Of Examen can be helpful to combat our blindness. In the Examen, you are asked to reflect on your day and spot moments when God may have been working or speaking to you. Doing this may help you cultivate a vision for God’s divine work in our world.
By Aaron Bjorklund