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May 28 | Acts 2:1-12


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION


Power on Pentecost

by Elaine Pierce


Many years ago, our family hosted an Ukranian family who left their country to seek religious freedom. (This was in the early 1990s when Ukraine was still part of Russia.) The Soroka family knew very little English, and we knew no Ukranian. You can imagine how hard it was to communicate! They stayed with us for 3 weeks until our church family helped them find suitable housing. We used a lot of sign language and a lot of pointing, and I found myself from time to time speaking louder and slower, as if that would help. Language was a barrier, and it was frustrating to not be able to communicate easily.


Jews travelled from all over the Roman empire - as Acts 2:5 says, 'from every nation under heaven,' to Jerusalem for Pentecost, an important harvest festival. And then God did something incredible and quite dramatic: he sent the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit came 'like the blowing of a violent wind...tongues of fire came to rest on each of them...they spoke in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.' (v. 2-4).


So these devout Jews, who had come from all over, could understand the disciples, because the Holy Spirit enabled them to speak in their own language! This God was their God, too! He wasn't just for one nationality or one people group. No need for pointing, no need for translating - God wanted to meet each one of them, and the Holy Spirit made that possible.


William Cowper wrote a hymn in 1773 and the first line of the verse has become a modern-day proverb:


God moves in a mysterious way,

His wonders to perform;

He plants his footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm.


As we celebrate Pentecost today (I hope you are wearing red!) take time to thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit. As he came upon the disciples in the upper room, he lives in us today. He can make all things new - all we have to do is watch, wait, pray and praise the God who loves us, who died for us, and who has a purpose and a plan for us.


PRAYER PRACTICE

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Help me live each day in the full and certain knowledge that everyone who calls on your name will be saved. Amen.




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