#carmelprays – Acts 2:1-13
Opening Song: Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord
Read Scripture: Acts 2:1-13
“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
On that day of Pentecost, the first disciples were given the miraculous gift of tongues. Not an esoteric tongue only of the divine realm, but the tongues of various human nations as understood by man. Because all of us Christians have been baptized by the Holy Spirit, and given the Spirit as a seal of our redemption in Christ, we too have claim to spiritual gifts. Perhaps not necessarily the gift of languages, but we each have gifts as bestowed by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of proclaiming the glory of God. Whether it be teaching, prophecy, giving, mercy, hospitality…No gift is too small or inconsequential. The glory of God is communicated through a range of spiritual gifts as expansive as the creativity and generosity of our Lord. We can examine ourselves and our lives to see how the Spirit has enabled us to be witnesses of God in this world.
“Each one heard them speaking in his own language.”
But just as these men speaking in different tongues had people who understood them, the myriad ways we declare the wonders of God have to be understood by others. Our gifts are not for ourselves alone. We communicate in the language of the receiver. We don’t write Chinese texts for a Japanese audience, no matter how similar both languages may appear at first glance. This means that even as we begin with the earnest intentions of using our gifts for the Kingdom, we need to listen to those amongst us, Christian and non-Christian alike. We do not simply give what we think is right. We need to pay attention. What do people truly need? How do people understand?
Just like how God first humbled Himself by sending Jesus, God Incarnate, to literally step into the shoes of human beings, meeting us where we are in the roiling mess of sin and darkness, we meet people where they are, learning the “languages” they speak, so we may more fruitfully express the glories of God in whatever “tongue” we have been given.
“They have had too much wine.”
Yet even as we strive to serve God in this world, to sincerely steward ourselves and what we have been gifted for the Kingdom, there will be detractors and ridicule. Many times from the Body of Christ itself. Consider the Day of Pentecost – in the face of such a miracle as the spontaneous speaking of different coherent tongues by a multitude of men, these God-fearing Jews could dismiss the phenomenon as the result of too much wine. So let all of us take courage not to fear the opinions of men. Perhaps we can also ask ourselves: are we in any way diminishing the service and efforts of others?
May we have eyes to see and ears to hear the power of the Holy Spirit working in all of us and others, for the glory of God.
Pray in Response
Gracious Lord God, every good and perfect gift comes from You of which Your Son Christ Jesus is truly an indescribably wonderfully perfect gift! You are the Giver that keeps on giving and we could never out give You Lord. Thank You Father.
Lord, thank You for giving us the gift of Your Spirit. O God, when You work in us, through us and around us, we are in awe. Only a great God can take all that is confusing and do wonders with all that is going on. What seems to be mysterious and seems to be of drunkenness was clear as light because You are there. You are the light that we need to clearly understand each other and Your works. Come Holy Spirit and fill us. Have Your way in us that we might see and declare what wonderful things our Lord is doing among us to the glory and praise of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Response Song: Holy Spirit Living Breath Of God
By Lim Shi