Sunday 27 May 2012

Bible Book:

"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in oneplace. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting." (vv. 1-2)

Acts 2:1-21 Sunday 27 May 2012


Can you imagine the excitement as the planning and logisticsswung into action? Pentecost was here! This annual harvest festivalgave Jews the opportunity to give thanks to God for providing forthem. With all the deep significance and gratitude that would be apart of such an event, this was not a sombre occasion; neither wasit a private event for a select few. This was a time for all tocelebrate, and to celebrate together.

Does Pentecost sound like a special bank holiday? It was more thanthat. This feast had purpose and profile, and enough of a 'wow'factor to bring people back home to be part of it. It was a time toremember and rejoice, and what better way to do that than withpeople who shared such a rich history and heritage. This really waseverybody's party and on this occasion it seemed like everybody hadturned up!

In all of the usual excitement and the general hubbub, today'spassage tells us what happened when the unexpected took place. InActs1, the disciples had been told by Jesus to wait in Jerusalem.They were clearly doing so, but even they weren't expecting whathappened next. A sound like a rushing wind brought somethingpromised, which seemed to defy logic. It brought somethingpowerful, yet so accessible that it was in danger of beingmisunderstood. It brought something purposeful, and the diversityof people gathered together heard people of a different backgroundand custom speaking clearly and confidently in languages that theyhad neither learned nor studied. The Holy Spirit had arrived andwas being demonstrated through conversation. To the listeninggroups gathered to celebrate God's provision, this was both amazingand confusing.

Peter did his best to explain this phenomenon, first by giving theassurance that his friends were not under the influence of amind-altering substance, and then (in verses 19-21) by citing theprophetic words of Joel (Joel2:28-32), whose work the audience would have been familiarwith, but may have forgotten. The Holy Spirit was here, connectingwith and communicating through those who dared to wait, even in theroutine of everyday life.

To Ponder

How do you respond when unexpected but amazingthings happen?

What do you think the promise, power and purposeof the Holy Spirit looks like today?

How do you share what God has done with people ofdifferent backgrounds?

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