The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
In Acts 2:1-4 the Holy Spirit falls upon the disciples in Jerusalem. There are sounds, visions, and the disciples begin speaking in different languages. Is this a sign from God? We might reasonably question it. What are they talking about? Verses 5-13 make it clear that there are witnesses from many different language groups. They all recognize the speakers as people from Galilee. But they say, “we hear each in our own dialect in which we were born...with our languages speaking the glories of God.” The sign attracts attention, and it calls attention to the true God, the God of Israel.
By speaking to the crowd of people present in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost, God shows that he is able to communicate regardless of language barriers. The message of the Gospel is for all nations, and it is readily understood by all. It is relevant regardless of cultural distance. Some 20 centuries later we can attest that it is relevant regardless of temporal distance as well. The true Gospel, Christ crucified for sinners, as a subsitute, bearing the wrath of God on the behalf of others, is a message which transcends time and space. It is always relevant.
We may recall that in Genesis, at the Tower of Babel, God scattered the people and confused their languages. They were intent on showing their own glory through their own achievements. here, in Acts chapter 2, God reverses the process. He has drawn people from many nations and languages. He pulls them together into one body. This is highly symbolic of the work of the Church. We draw people of all backgrounds into one body, centered on the proclamation of God’s glories.
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