Tag Archives: Acts 2:1-21

The Wind of Change

Not my words Lord,
but yours.
Your power,
your vision,
your light.

Breathing,
speaking,
moving,
blowing,
equipping.

Lord,
I pray for your Spirit
to ignite me,
blow through me,
speak in me;
that people may hear
in a way they can grasp,
that I may understand
in a way I can know,
That I may dream
and speak
for you.

Fill me
Holy Spirit,
I pray

Acts 2:1-21 (CEV)

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

On the day of Pentecost all the Lord’s followers were together in one place.Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.

Many religious Jews from every country in the world were living in Jerusalem.And when they heard this noise, a crowd gathered. But they were surprised, because they were hearing everything in their own languages. They were excited and amazed, and said:

Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee? Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages? Some of us are from Parthia, Media, and Elam. Others are from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya near Cyrene, Rome,11 Crete, and Arabia. Some of us were born Jews, and others of us have chosen to be Jews. Yet we all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done.

12 Everyone was excited and confused. Some of them even kept asking each other, “What does all this mean?”

13 Others made fun of the Lord’s followers and said, “They are drunk.”

Peter Speaks to the Crowd

14 Peter stood with the eleven apostles and spoke in a loud and clear voice to the crowd:

Friends and everyone else living in Jerusalem, listen carefully to what I have to say! 15 You are wrong to think that these people are drunk. After all, it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 But this is what God had the prophet Joel say,

17 “When the last days come,
I will give my Spirit
    to everyone.
Your sons and daughters
    will prophesy.
Your young men
    will see visions,
and your old men
    will have dreams.
18 In those days I will give
    my Spirit to my servants,
both men and women,
    and they will prophesy.

19 I will work miracles
    in the sky above
and wonders
    on the earth below.
There will be blood and fire
    and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will turn dark,
and the moon
    will be as red as blood
before the great
    and wonderful day
    of the Lord appears.
21 Then the Lord
    will save everyone
    who asks for his help.”

Holy Spirit We Welcome You

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Worth Waiting For

I don’t know how good you are at waiting.  I’m not very good.  If I’m waiting for something scary, I just want it to be over and done with; if I’m waiting for something nice, I want it to be here to enjoy it.

Jesus told the disciples to wait.  He had given them a task to do, but they had to wait for God’s power to be able to accomplish it.  And now the waiting is over.

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

2 On the day of Pentecost all the Lord’s followers were together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.

Many religious Jews from every country in the world were living in Jerusalem. And when they heard this noise, a crowd gathered. But they were surprised, because they were hearing everything in their own languages. They were excited and amazed, and said:

Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee? Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages? Some of us are from Parthia, Media, and Elam. Others are from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya near Cyrene, Rome, 11 Crete, and Arabia. Some of us were born Jews, and others of us have chosen to be Jews. Yet we all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done.

12 Everyone was excited and confused. Some of them even kept asking each other, “What does all this mean?”

13 Others made fun of the Lord’s followers and said, “They are drunk.”

Peter Speaks to the Crowd

14 Peter stood with the eleven apostles and spoke in a loud and clear voice to the crowd:

Friends and everyone else living in Jerusalem, listen carefully to what I have to say! 15 You are wrong to think that these people are drunk. After all, it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 But this is what God had the prophet Joel say,

17 “When the last days come,
I will give my Spirit
to everyone.
Your sons and daughters
will prophesy.
Your young men
will see visions,
and your old men
will have dreams.
18 In those days I will give
my Spirit to my servants,
both men and women,
and they will prophesy.

19 I will work miracles
in the sky above
and wonders
on the earth below.
There will be blood and fire
and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will turn dark,
and the moon
will be as red as blood
before the great
and wonderful day
of the Lord appears.
21 Then the Lord
will save everyone
who asks for his help.”

The Holy Spirit came upon them, and equipped them for the task that Jesus had left with them.

God has kept his promise, they are not alone.  Jesus has gone back to heaven, but God is still with them in the power of the Holy Spirit.  They waited for him, and he hasn’t let them down.  God is still equipping them for the task to which he called them.

God will continue to equip us for the task that he calls us to.  He doesn’t ask us to do something and leave us alone to get on with it – this is what he has always promised to do – to pour out his Spirit on those who proclaim his message.  We go not in our own power, but in his.

For me this has one simple, yet profound message:

Wait for God, don’t rush ahead, don’t try to do it without him.

Today, we can use the words of this song as a prayer for God to come, to quip us anew, fill us and use us, by his power.

Holy Spirit, We Welcome You by Chris Bowater

Holy Spirit, we welcome You
Holy Spirit, we welcome You
Move among us with holy fire
As we lay aside all earthly desires
Hands reach out and our hearts aspire
Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit, we welcome You
Holy Spirit, we welcome You
Holy Spirit, we welcome You
Let the breeze of Your presence blow
That Your children here might truly know
How to move in the Spirit’s flow
Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit, we welcome You

Holy Spirit, we welcome You
Holy Spirit, we welcome You
Please accomplish in me today
Some new work of loving grace, I pray
Unreservedly have Your way
Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit, we welcome You

Do you speak English?

One of the things we discovered on our recent trip to France is that if you go out of season and off the beaten track, people do not speak English.  Secretly we were quite glad, because we believe that if you go somewhere else you should fit in with them, not expect them to fit in with you – and we got by pretty well, and enjoyed the French interaction – even managing to make a phone call in French!

The Pentecost reading however, is a total reversal of that.  There are people living in Jerusalem from “every country in the world” and yet each and every one of them heard God’s message in their own language.  They didn’t need interpreters, they didn’t need to struggle along grasping the odd word, they understood what God was saying to them, because it was in their own language.

But I wonder how often in the church we turn this around?

Do we speak in ways people can understand?  Or have we developed our own language that no one but those from a church culture understand?  Do we do things that make perfect sense to us who do them every week, but are unintelligible to anyone from outside the church?  Have we turned God’s message from being accessible, to beyond the grasp of most people in society?

People need so much to be able to hear God’s word to them in a language they can understand, in a way they can grasp.  God did that at Pentecost as the Holy Spirit blew through the disciples and gave them his power and his message.  Let’s make sure that we haven’t made it all incomprehensible again!

Lord

Thank you for the mighty rushing wind of your word,

for the flame of your passion;

we pray that they may equip us

to speak your word,

to bring your message

to the world;

that it might understand

your love,

your hope,

your peace –

and come to know you.