Our scripture this week is Acts 2:1-21.
When the day of Pentecost came, they 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 tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
Just as Jesus promised, the disciples felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and the energy it brought to them. Suddenly they all began to speak in different languages and foreign visitors understood them. The Holy Spirit indicated to them right away what was to be their mission.
Jesus wanted His disciples to see that they had been called to go to all the world, as evidenced by the variety of visitors to Jerusalem for the Pentecost celebration. They saw that the testimony they would share could bring diverse groups of people with different customs and societies together under the rule of Christ. His message could unite the world.
As always, there were those who disagreed and didn’t believe. Peter makes up for His previous denial of Jesus with a vigorous and well spoken defense of their faith, setting the stage and the standard for all the stories of Jesus to come. The Holy Spirit calls us all to share our faith and let the world know how much Jesus loves us.
Gracious God, we thank You for the gift of our risen Savior and the Holy Spirit as Your presence with and within us. Make us strong in our faith and bless us to go to the world with our testimony. Amen.