The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


What will be?

'And your young men shall see visions ' (Acts 2:17; Joel 2:28)

Didn’t get his name. But that’s OK. God knows. The Spirit knows. Better than his mother. Don’t know how old he is. Doesn’t matter. That’s not what he is, nor what he’ll become. Couldn’t say what he was thinking. But the Spirit might say what he was seeing.

All I saw was his young face—in church, outside Georgetown, Guyana, on Reformation Sunday, the “Lutheran Pentecost.”

It was Youth Day. They led the service, proclaimed the word, sang a lot of songs. Clapped even more. It was good. It was worship. It was hot. The Spirit was there.

I think he was almost bored—sitting “with” the youth, not yet really one of them—not fully there. He was dressed right but not altogether liking it.

He was just being a boy. Well-behaved, with a boy’s effort. Just a boy dreaming dreams only he could see. Seeing visions only the Spirit might know.

But there he was. Is. Will be? Only the Spirit can say.

He is among the least. To us the nameless, but to God the chosen, Spirit-filled, seeing visions of what could be. Perhaps should be or, God willing, might be.

That’s Pentecost for you: never what we think it should be, sometimes not even when we think it should be. It surprises us. Catches us unawares. Not with the speaking of tongues, but with every person’s ears ringing with holy words of grace. It’s the power of God’s mighty deeds,tailor-fitted to each.

Don’t know what this young man was thinking ... or seeing. That’­s OK. He probably doesn’t know either. God does and that’s enough. More important is what he will see: what God-given, Spirit-filled, Christ-centered vision of what could be. That’s the real thing, the holy stuff.

Is it Pentecost in you too? The Spirit says it is.


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