Three Months With The Spirit (Acts 2:1-13)

May 6th, 2014


Acts 2:1-21


The events took place on the "day of Pentecost," a tradition­ al Jewish festival. For that festival, people from many different countries had gathered in Jerusalem, and when the disciples who had received the Spirit spoke, the various people understood them, each in his or own native tongue. Many were amazed by this understanding, but others scoffed, saying that those who spoke were drunk.

Note that the text underscores the unity of the followers of Jesus, saying that they were "all together in one place."

Note also the play on words (which exists also in the original Greek language) between the "tongues" of fire and the "tongues" that people spoke. (NRSV)

Note above all that the purpose of these different tongues is not to edify those who speak, but rather to make the witness about Jesus available to those whose mother tongues they are. Note final­ly that those who received the Spirit and spoke were not only the twelve, but also all those who were gathered, including women.


For today's meditation, center your attention on two sub­jects. The first is that...the promise of the Holy Spirit is now fulfilled. Thanks to the power of the Spirit, the disciples become witnesses.

Second, notice that when the disciples received the Holy Spirit, people heard them, each in his or her own tongue. In order to lis­ten and respond to the proclamation of the gospel, one did not have to understand the language of the first disciples, nor did one have to become like them. From its very birth at Pentecost, the church has been multilingual and multicultural. Sometimes, Christians in a majority or dominant culture think that others have to learn their language and culture, and to worship just as they do. At Pentecost, the Spirit did not reject the diversity of tongues in which the gospel is to be spoken and lived out, but rather accepted and even affirmed it.


Ask yourself the following questions, and write down your reflections:

  • Do I give witness to Jesus Christ with the full fervor and strength of one who has received the Holy Spirit?
  • Do we love and support one another in church with all the love of those who have received the Holy Spirit?
  • How does my church reflect the fact that the Spirit makes it possible for people to listen in their own language and culture?

excerpt from: Three Months With The Spirit by Justo L. González Copyright©2003 by Abingdon Press. Used with permission.

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