June 5, 2022
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 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. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean? But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'”
Something to Do
a sound like the rush of a violent wind
We have recently had more first-hand experience than we would like with the power of a violent wind. You will be invited to wonder about the that experience in a moment but first consider how you could contribute to the work of recovery. Give to the Ottawa Food Bank. Volunteer with the city’s storm clean-up efforts. Send a thank you note to the Hyrdo Ottawa workers.
Activate your sanctified imagination
As you read the story, imagine yourself in the crowd. Feel the jostling of people. Smell the dust and sweat. Feel the heat. Now imagine seeing this group of people, all talking at once about something quite strange. How do you react? Are you with the people who are astonished or the people who assume they’re already drunk? How do you respond to Peter’s speech?
Something to Wonder
a sound like the rush of a violent wind
Wind. Fire. Speech. All potentially incredibly destructive.
What does this tell you about the Spirit? Does that fit with your own experience? Why or why not?
How do these images make you feel?
I will pour out my Spirit
Have you ever felt the Spirit poured out on you?
If so, what was it like? What happened? Do you want it to happen again?
If not, do you want to? Why or you not?
Something to Learn
The Book of the Prophet Joel
Peter quotes the prophet Joel in his explanation about what is happening to the disciples. Learn a little bit about the Book of Joel by:
- watching the Bible Project video
- reading the Wikipedia article.
- reading this commentary on Joel 2 (which is where Peter’s quote comes from)
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.