Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt from it

Read Acts 2:7-13

And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done! … What can this mean?

More thoughts for meditation

The astonished crowd asks a good question: what does this mean? If the Holy Spirit was about efficiency or simplicity, why wouldn’t God manifest the Holy Spirit through Greek, the lingua franca of the day? Maybe it means that from the very beginning, God wanted to communicate that the Holy Spirit can’t be co-opted by one culture, one way of doing things, one kind of people, etc. Maybe God knew we would be tempted to say, “But this was the original version of the Holy Spirit!”

On Pentecost, there is no upper hand or upper people group, no “one” original, but many.  When it comes to being graced by the Holy Spirit, everyone is on the same level—Medes, Elamites, Galileans, Parthians, introverts, extroverts, seminary students, high school dropouts, single people, veterans, pastors’ kids and orphans—you name it. The Holy Spirit speaks to us in our own language and teaches us a language of truth and many languages of love we never learned.

Suggestion for action

Reflect on how the Holy Spirit has spoken in your own language before. When was a prayer answered, an encouragement spoken, or a gift given that really meant something to you, that surprised you with its poignancy and particularity? Pray to be open to hearing the Holy Spirit speaking directly to you today—affirming who you are and where you’ve come from, and also showing you how to grow.

Today is Kizito Day. Get to know the youngest of the famous Ugandan martyrs at Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body.