Amy Jones,
Agape Coordinator
Dear God, we come to worship you today. 
We come to pray, and listen.
You always hear us. 
Help us to hear you. Amen
Scripture
Acts 2:1-11

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’
Devotional
A gentleman approached our table at Agape and in a flurry of Spanish produced a piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to me. Although I still don’t know what he said, I gathered that he was asking me to read and explain the paper. It was a medical note from a doctor. With very limited Spanish and a lot of gesturing, I told him it was a note from a doctor that explained his recent visit. I’m still not sure I answered his question, but he said he would be back next week and thanked me for the food.

The past week, perhaps more than any other preceding it, it has felt like there has been a cacophony of voices hurled into the national discourse all at the same time. There are so many threads to follow and so many voices speaking at the same time that it feels deafening. Trying to listen is exhausting and emotionally draining. The daily strain to hear and process what is happening in our nation and our world is so much work that it is tempting to not try at all.

The most miraculous thing about this Pentecost moment is not that people suddenly have the ability to speak languages they did not previously know. The miraculous thing is that the sounds of the Holy Spirit drew others in to patiently listen and hear their language being spoken in the cacophonous uproar. They were drawn in to listen and really hear what was being said.

I have no illusions that I spoke a language our Agape guest understood, but I do think he heard a message of concern and love. I believed him when he said he would return next week with more information for me to read and explain. I hope he believed me when I said I would be there next week and would try my best to help him understand. It will take some work, but we will both be ready to listen to each other and try to hear something we can understand.

That Pentecost day must have been a noisy mess of people speaking over each other. But, there were still people listening and ready to hear their language. The message they heard was one of God’s power and love, which they may have missed in all the noise had they not been listening. Will you strain to hear a message of love? Will you listen a little harder?

Where do you hear a language that you understand? Who is speaking in a way that speaks to you? Are you listening? Will you know it when you hear it? How will you respond? Will you come back to hear more and try again?
Prayer
Let your holy winds blow in our ears and through our hearts. Slow us so we can listen and hear. Calm our spirits so we can really understand. Give us the patience to be still and know you are God. Amen.
Amy Jones
Amy Jones, Agape Coordinator
Amy Jones our Agape Coordinator is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church. In this tradition, deacons are ordained clergy who bridge the ministry of the church with the needs of the world, and vice versa. In more than 15 years of ministry, she has worked in churches, in children and family ministry, higher education, and nonprofits. In each setting, her focus has been on matching the resources of the church with the needs of the world. Agape Community Kitchen is exactly the type of work she was called to do. 

Amy can be reached by email at: agape@westfieldpc.org.
The Presbyterian Church in Westfield continues to burn as a light in the darkness as our community weathers this fearsome storm of illness. Our reach of care continues to extend far beyond our immediate borders. You can help us make a real impact in the lives of others by joining in our work through your time, your talents, and also in the fruits of your labors.
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