Like wind … Like fire … , ©Mark Hewitt 2017
Here is a story where the stage is set for miscommunication.
Yet something amazing takes place in Jerusalem ….
Acts 2: 1-21 (CEV)
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
1 On the day of Pentecost all the Lord’s followers were together in one place. 2 Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting.
3 Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. 4 The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.
5 Many religious Jews from every country in the world were living in Jerusalem. 6 And when they heard this noise, a crowd gathered.
But they were surprised, because they were hearing everything in their own languages.
7 They were excited and amazed, and said:
Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee?
8 Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages? 9 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
Your sons and daughters
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
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.”
This part of Scripture in Acts 2 is seen as the birth of the church but it is only the first part of the story.
The second part of the coming of the spirit we heard read in Church a couple of weeks back. It’s not that the Spirit needed to come twice but that the nature of the gathered group was not yet as inclusive as the Spirit.
So when another group of followers gathered soon after, the Spirit came again to complete the inclusive nature of the Church.
This time at Caesarea, a port city, north central Israel, admination centre of Judea province of Roman empire. Cornelius a centeruion of the Italian Cohort, had gathered family & friends to hear the apostle Peter.
Acts 10: 44-48 (CEV)
44 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit took control of everyone who was listening. 45 Some Jewish followers of the Lord had come with Peter, and they were surprised that the Holy Spirit had been given to Gentiles. 46 Now they were hearing Gentiles speaking unknown languages and praising God. Peter said, 47 “These Gentiles have been given the Holy Spirit, just as we have! I am certain that no one would dare stop us from baptizing them.” 48 Peter ordered them to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, and they asked him to stay on for a few days.
The new church is now truly inclusive. We hear in the first account that the Spirit comes like wind, like fire.
What does the Spirit bring?
Oneness with God.
Lines of communication
Nothing like a smart phone – it never goes out of range
Clarity & Wisdom
Courage to our voice.
Love to our action
Love of us that enables us to Love others.
As Love is the loudest voice.
May the Holy Spirit blow you in new directions.
May the Holy Spirit inspire you to do new things.
May the winds of Pentecost move your heart
and the flames of Pentecost warm your hearts.
May you go this day renewed, refreshed, challenged,
and secure in the knowledge of God’s love for you. Amen.
-©Seasons of the Spirit