“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!”
-Acts 2:2-12 (NIV)
Today’s scripture from Acts describes the amazing phenomenon in which Jesus’ first disciples were struck by the Holy Spirit and began to speak in known languages that were not their own. All of those around, who were native speakers of these languages, were amazed to hear the wonders of God in their own tongues and many began then to follow Christ. There is a single, universal language that we can all use to reach others who may not speak the same as we do: love.
The incredible gift of love that God has shown us through the sacrificing of Jesus, his only son, is not ours to keep, but is meant to be shared, and there are so many ways we can do that every day. Some outside of the church may argue that you don’t need to be a Christian to “be a good person” or to “do the right thing;” or they may ask “how can I show love to someone who seems unlovable?”
Well, they’re right, you don’t necessarily have to be a Christian to be nice, and it can be difficult at times to show love towards “difficult” people; but as Christians, we have been called by Christ specifically to graciously share his love, unconditionally, without restraint, with everyone, as Christ first showed to us. In fact, we sing about this very thing in “Sharing The Love,” the response to the benediction at the end of our worship services:
“Sharing the love and the grace of our Lord is what we are
called now to do. Go forth, make disciples, our Savior commands
to love others as God has loved you.”
Father God, we thank you for your amazing love, which we have done nothing to deserve but you so freely offer anyway. Help us to always be outpouring vessels of your love towards everyone we encounter. Amen.
Interim Music Director