Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Acts 2:1-13 - Speaking in Tongues?

Scripture: Acts 2:1-13

Summary: On the day of Pentecost they were all gathered together when suddenly from heaven there came a sound like a violent wind. Divided tongues of fire appeared and a tongue rested on each of them. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages. People asked what it meant and some said that they were drunk.

Thoughts:  This is just the first part of the Pentecost story, so be sure to check back later for part two! There are several interesting parts of this phenomenon. First, there is the "sound like the rush of a violent wind" filling the entire house.  All of them are filled with the Holy Spirit and then there is the "divided tongues, as of fire" with a tongue resting on each of them. Then each of them speaks in other languages. Not only that, but people from other places can understand the speech in their own language!  There is alot of controversy surrounding this scripture, especially the part about speaking in tongues. But when you study this text, it is clear that the disciples were speaking in the languages of other people around them. They weren't speaking in a language that was not understood by anyone. The Holy Spirit had given them the ability to speak the langauge of the people in that place. So I find myself wondering how this text is interpreted by people that "speak in tongues" in their local congregations. I believe that the Holy Spirit can give us the ability to communicate "God's deeds of power" to people who aren't like us. What gifts is the Holy Spirit giving us so that we can share the good news with those who are different in our community?

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, come! Give us gifts that allow us to share the good news of Jesus Christ with all of our neighbors. Amen.

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