Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pentecost: praising God in their language

Today, listening to the Pentecost readings, I noticed a couple of basic things:
  • People listen when we speak their language
  • Seekers listen when we praise God and tell the wonders he has done
At the first Pentecost after Jesus' resurrection, the apostles' words were understood in the languages of the people around them. As Christians, part of our faith is to speak and to be understood. The Spirit equips us by guiding our words, even in our own language. Time and again, we hear of the Spirit guiding words in particular:
  • What the apostles were to say when brought into court -- and no worrying in advance because the Spirit would help.
    Jesus mentioned this to the apostles in advance. After the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we see the apostles actually on trial at times, and trusting that the words would come to proclaim what Jesus did.
  • What the apostles said the first Pentecost
  • What the apostles and other writers of Scripture would say, such as in their letters and in the gospels
    All Scripture is God-breathed ...
  • What the Christians would say to help and encourage each other
    Some have the gift of encouragement or of teaching; some have words of wisdom or words of knowledge; the Spirit gives gifts including prophecy, tongues, or the interpretation of tongues. Jesus' people "are a letter from Christ, written with the Spirit of the Living God on tablets of the human heart" (2 Cor 3:3 selected/ellipses removed for easier reading)
  • How the Christians would pray
    The boldness to call God "Father" -- and the trust to see him as Father -- come from the Spirit. And when we lack words, we pray trusting that the Spirit communicates for us. 
People look for the gifts of Pentecost today. If we encourage someone, teach someone, if we speak the truth with love, then the Spirit is among us.


Martin LaBar said...

And then, and now, God seems to have used the personalities of the individuals speaking (or writing).

Weekend Fisher said...

God works with who we are, and even with our weaknesses. How many times have I been comforted by the thought that Peter was an impulsive hothead ...