“And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.” Acts 2:4, NLT
“The Beginning of Something!”
It is apparent that the power of language is evidence of the God of creation. The Scripture introduces us to God, who “creates” (Hebrew, bara) everything (Genesis 1: 1-2, NLT). The Book of Genesis is believed to be a product of the Babylonian exile period. It assures a captive people, that the God of Creation, is sovereign over everything in heaven, on earth, and in the universe. God then speaks, and things happen. We see early in the Book of Genesis, the power of His language: “Then God said, “Let there be light, and there was light (cf. Genesis 1:3, NLT).” Nothing happens in all creation, until God speaks. We see this truth mirrored in the Pentecost narrative. Jesus told the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait on the promise (Holy Spirit) to come. The disciples joyfully went to Jerusalem. Somewhere in an upper room, overlooking one of the court yards of the Temple, the beleaguered, yet expectant, group awaited “something to happen.” At the conclusion of the Shavuot, the time of gathering the first Spring harvest, the Spirit came. There was the sound of gale winds like the force of a storm. Leaping flames of fire that looked like human tongues, rested on each of the persons gathered below in the plaza. Then it happened: Everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages. The people now had an ability given to them by the Holy Spirit, they did not have previously. This primal event signified the beginning of a “people of Christ-followers,” united as one, although diverse in culture, customs and language. The “other” languages they inherited was their new spiritual gift, which could unite, rather than divide, the children of God. As God spoke light into the shadows of an incomplete world, so does the Holy Spirit gifts us to love, hope, and live in a blighted world. Nothing will ever happen, until the language of God breaks through our fractured world.
Pentecost is the amazing birth of a new and holy nation!