Pentecost - You're Speaking My Language!
When the day of Pentecost came, the disciples were all together in one place.
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them. -Acts 2:1-5
Have you ever traveled to a foreign land where you didn’t understand the language? It can be very confusing and frightening to try and find your way when you don’t speak the local language. But when you have a translator, or you hear someone speaking in your native tongue, it brings a sense of comfort and calm. You can communicate clearly and you know things won’t be misunderstood. People from all over the world came to Jerusalem for the Festival of Weeks. Pentecost is the name it was given because it happened 50 days following Passover. And although these people communicated in Koine Greek and in Hebrew, they were most comfortable in their native languages.
In a miraculous display of God’s power, the disciples were enabled to speak in the native languages of the people assembled in Jerusalem from all over the known world. Because God had an important message for the people of the entire world, they needed to fully understand the message of who Christ was and how they, too, could be forgiven and embraced into God’s growing and expanding family. God didn’t want this message to get lost in translation. They received the message and 3,000 people were baptized that day and the early church was born.
I am continually amazed at how God can speak directly to me, in language I need to hear, at just the time I need to hear it. In just the same way that the people gathered in Jerusalem needed to hear the message of Jesus Christ in their native languages, God takes care of my confusion and frustration and speaks clearly through his Word, Jesus Christ. In my office I have a few scripture verses posted in various places as perpetual reminders. One of them is “Be still and know that I am God.” -Psalm 46:10 At the moment when I’m racing around, trying to keep track of all the schedules and details and sermons and worship planning and meetings I need to attend to… I look up and am reminded that all of this, however good and useful it may be, is not essential. My attentiveness to God’s work and God’s presence IS essential. God speaks my language and helps me to speak in language that reaches someone else’s heart in ways they can understand and words they can receive. And for that, I am thankful.
Gracious God, you speak and too often we are distracted and busy, and don’t hear what you are saying. Help us to be still, and know that you are God; that you are present in our lives, and that you are in control. Give us the comfort of your spirit and the boldness to proclaim, just like those disciples on that first Pentecost, the good news of Jesus Christ. Bless our students as they lead us in worship this week. May they feel the fire of your Holy Spirit empowering them to bring us a message of love, challenge and heart. And give us ears to hear them speaking in our language! Amen.
Please join us in thanking our beloved Office Assistant, Liz Aguayo. She will be completing her time here at KFPC on Friday, May 25. Debra Bilodeau, our Administrative Assistant, will be taking over both positions as we streamline our staffing at the church. Liz brings such a kind spirit and warm welcome to our office. We will miss her gentleness and her hard work. Thank you, Liz.
~ Pastor Hanna Peterson Shearer