Sunday 23 May 2021

Bible Book:
Acts our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power. (v. 11)

Acts 2:1-21 Sunday 23 May 2021

Psalm 104


Our passage today brings us the account of Pentecost. The disciples were sat locked in the upper room hiding and praying together. It was on this day though that they received the Holy Spirit and their lives changed in an instant. This outpouring causes them to pour out of the house and on to the street to proclaim the good news of Jesus to all who would listen. So exuberant were these proclamations that passers-by assumed they had drank far too much wine.

Jerusalem was a multicultural city and people would have been use to hearing lots of languages in its streets. It would have been a very normal occurrence and may beg the question why so much fuss is made about it in the story. If we read through those opening verses again, we can see it isn’t the fact that the apostles were speaking different languages that was so striking. Instead it was that those representatives from the nations heard (verses 6, 8, 11) and understood what was being said.

When these people visited the Temple they would have heard the stories of God in one language. I am sure they would have understood what was said but it wasn’t in their own tongue and so it would have always been a little remote. But the good news shared by the disciples was in the language they had grown up with. It was the language their mother and father spoke to them when they were children. They heard God in their own native language, and to this day God speaks to us in our own language.

One of the challenges of this passage is for us to remember that the people who need to hear the good news do not speak the same language as us. We can bring them to church, but they will be listening to something shared in a language they do not fully understand. If we want people to hear the wonders of God, then we need to speak to them in the language of their context.

 To Ponder:

  • Have you ever struggled to understand something in church? How did it make you feel?
  • How can you share the good news in a language others understand?
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