Dear CR: I printed your message. It is chock-full of fascinating details that echo intringuingly with Eliot's poetry. Diana

From:  cr mittal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:  "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To:  [log in to unmask]
Subject:  Re: Four Quartets -- a reading
Date:  Mon, 18 Dec 2006 07:06:41 -0800

The Experience of the Pentecost
It's fascinating to learn of the experience of the Pentecost
and share it with non-Christians. I find it relates marvelously
to the experience of poetry -- especially T.S. Eliot's.
~ CR
According to the Book of Acts, the experience of the Pentecost was shared by all in the large crowd, causing confusion and inspiring fear.
When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in
bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. [...] Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? [...] Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?" Acts 2:6-12
Then the Apostle Peter, standing with the eleven other apostles, spoke to the crowd. He explained that these strange events had been predicted by the prophet Joel, and that Jesus's coming had been prophesied by David. Peter explained that these events confirmed David's prophesied exaltation of Jesus. Peter then exhorted his listeners to turn to Christ. About three thousand responded to Peter's sermon.

Signs of the coming of the Holy Spirit

Three physical signs occurred showing the coming of the Holy Spirit:
Sound of Blowing Wind
B. Vision of tongues of Fire that rested on each of them. The tongues of Fire which descended on the disciples represents a theophany (a visible manifestation of God). This is important to Christianity in that it represents the dynastic succession of power from Jesus to the Holy Spirit who guides the believers. See also Luke 3:16-17.
C. They heard the apostles speaking in the native tongue of the listener, i.e., the miracle was in the hearing. This was important in that it
was key for the spread of the gospel. The Holy Spirit acted as a translator so that as the preaching occurred everyone there comprehended the message in their own native language. (This event has also been interpreted as the opposite of the events at the Tower of Babel, which, according to the tradition, introduced the language barriers in the first place.)
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. [...] Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. Acts 2:26-33
Simon Peter also reminded the multitude (in Acts 2:17-21) that this experience had been predicted by the prophet Joel:
"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." (Joel 2:28)
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [...] Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Acts 2:38-41


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