In the scripture, when do we see the Holy Spirit active the most? The answer is that we see him most often during various beginnings. In other words, we see him at Jesus’ conception, Jesus’ baptism, and so on. The Holy Spirit is at these beginnings: creation, Jesus’ conception, Jesus’ trial in the desert, Pentecost, the gentile believers speaking in tongues.
The Holy Spirit is present at significant beginnings in the scripture. Here are a few:
Genesis 1:2 (Psalm 104:30)
“And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.”
“The Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ’You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’”
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.”
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 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. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
“While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.”
The Holy Spirit is at various beginnings. He was present at creation (Genesis 1:2). He was at Jesus’ conception (Luke 1:35). He was at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (Luke 3:22). He was there, at Pentecost when the church began (Acts 2:1-4). He was there when some of the first gentiles became believers (Acts 10:44-45). He is also there throughout our lives by the gifts that he gives us to use in I Corinthians 12.
Here’s a puzzle. There is no mention of the Holy Spirit at the endings of things, none at all. Why is this? Because there are no true endings. The Spirit’s work is eternal. The church is eternal. Our salvation is eternal. There are beginnings and transitions, but no endings. And that’s good news.