The Holy Spirit has not come to create a cozy atmosphere in a church. We do not draw him into our services by creating the right atmosphere, regardless of whether that is quiet and subdued or noisy and exuberant. The Holy Spirit does not need to be attracted, invoked, persuaded or baited. He is not a reluctant or indifferent visitor but, following his own will and desire, he comes to take up residence.
The apostles were not praying for the Spirit, but he came, invaded the place; any atmosphere they might have experienced together was blown away, invaded by a “rushing mighty wind” (Acts 2:2, NKV). The Spirit is the atmosphere of heaven itself and heaven comes down here with him. He is the pneuma, the wind of heaven blowing through our stuffy traditions and stagnation. We may sing “Welcome, welcome, Holy Spirit”, but he does not come because of our welcome. He is no guest, no stranger invited in for an hour or two. He is the Lord from heaven and invites us into his presence. Where there is faith and the Word, he finds his natural environment.
The Holy Spirit does not choose the strong and the capable, although he does not ignore them either. However, his purpose is to give strength to the weak and needy, the little folk who think little of themselves. Their weakness attracts his power, his all-sufficiency and life-giving dynamism. He comes for the best and for the worst of us, the Father’s promise sent by the Son. What a gift!