Sunday 20 May 2018

Bible Book:

“And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were seated.” (v. 2)

Acts 2:1-21 Sunday 20 May 2018

Psalm: Psalm 104


This week’s readings from both the Old and New Testaments remind us that the witness of the Spirit of God has been experienced in a variety of ways across the ages.

However, today we focus on the passage which tells us about the events of the day of Pentecost, the day that is often referred to as the birthday of the Church.

The language of this passage is expansive, expressive and extraordinary, trying but falling short of capturing in words a life-changing experience. It was as if a sudden wind had been felt by all present – not just something that came and passed and then was gone, but something which took over the whole place where the disciples were and completely enveloped them. The language is hyperbolic because the experience of that day was so overwhelming that it defied description in normal language. If the language were music and the instrument an organ, then all the stops would be out and played at full volume.

Here was a decisive moment in the life of the disciples and the fledgling Church – making explicit the new life in Christ to the activity of the Spirit of God. No-one was excluded from this experience – the list of place names testifies to that fact.

The words of the prophet Joel (verses 17-21) (Joel 2:28-32) are transformed from a prophecy of destruction and end times to a declaration of new life.

To Ponder

  • Imagine you were there on that very first day of Pentecost – try your hand at expressing your amazement at what happened in your own language.
  • This passage is sometimes used to encourage or explain the fact that some people ‘speak in tongues’ in our own day. What are your feelings about the purpose and impact of ‘speaking in tongues’ these days?
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