Wednesday, May 27
Acts 2 was our scripture reading in worship just a few days ago. This text is much like the Luke 2 text that brings me home to Christmas. On the one hand, it is the Acts 2 reading that reminds me how little control we actually have in this world. On the other hand, we find out that God is truly in control of when and how and where the Spirit shows up.
In our concise and rather calculated planning, we so desperately try to have things move about according to our timing. When we schedule things so tightly, we may miss the opportunity for the Spirit to flow thru us. We like things to line up and we like to say when there will be celebrations and when things should succinctly happen in life. How early on in life do we find that things don’t line up the way we think?
Think about our desire for control. In my time spent with families who are going thru loss, I often hear these words, “Why is this happening to me now?” Would anyone ever say, “Oh this is the perfect time for this to happen in my life?” Would any of us sign up to experience deep loss? We are truly people who are so very ready to sign up for the good stuff; the predictable stuff.
I have to say that life has surely instructed me about the gift of the Spirit. The presence of the Spirit signals to me that God is so very close and at work. It is in those times when the Spirit’s presence is palpable. The more and more I experience the Spirit’s presence, the more I am drawn toward leaving space for the Spirit to show up when and where the Spirit chooses. To seek the Spirit’s presence in our midst means that we have to relax our tight hold on control and be open to the Spirit’s leading. Look at how Christ’s church began as the God’s Spirit came blazing thru and set us on fire. Awesome!
2:1 When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. 3 Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, 4 and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.
5 There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. 6 When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were thunderstruck. 7 They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, “Aren’t these all Galileans? 8 How come we’re hearing them talk in our various mother tongues?
9 Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene; Immigrants from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes; Even Cretans and Arabs!
“They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works!”
12 Their heads were spinning; they couldn’t make head or tail of any of it. They talked back and forth, confused: “What’s going on here?”
13 Others joked, “They’re drunk on cheap wine.”
14 That’s when Peter stood up and, backed by the other eleven, spoke out with bold urgency: “Fellow Jews, all of you who are visiting Jerusalem, listen carefully and get this story straight. 15 These people aren’t drunk as some of you suspect. They haven’t had time to get drunk—it’s only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 This is what the prophet Joel announced would happen:
17 “In the Last Days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams.
18 When the time comes, I’ll pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women both, and they’ll prophesy. 19 I’ll set wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billowing smoke, 20 the sun turning black and the moon blood-red, before the Day of the Lord arrives, the Day tremendous and marvelous;
21 And whoever calls out for help to me, God, will be saved.”
The Spirit came, not because the believers prayed but because the day of Pentecost had come, the day that would be remembered as the birthday of the church. If you look back at chapter 2 of Luke, you will read a description of the birth of Jesus. If you read chapter 2 of Acts, you will read a description of the birth of Christ’s church. Even though the people were from everywhere in the world, and people were speaking in every language, they understood the message completely.
Where would you most like to travel? Where would you most like to travel in the world? Would that place have language that was different from your own? Would you rather just visit a place and not understand the language? Have you ever been to a place where others did not understand what you were saying? Where would you most hope that your words would be understood? Have a Day!
In Conversation with a child: Ask a child to tell you if they know how to say something in Spanish
Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson
Remember in Prayer: Kelly, Sawyer, Wanda, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Kay, Will, Elise & family, Sue, Katie, Susie, Beth, Marvin, Landon, Ellie, Pattie, Marnie, Dot’s family, Missy, Jeremy, Nan, Dave, Chris, Ginnie, Nick, Grant & family, Ginger, Paige, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.
And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David
Prayer: O God, it is good to be in these moments with you. We ask that you walk close by us today. Guide our steps and keep our focus on you. Amen
Your E-Votional Servant
© 2015 Lucia Oerter
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The Message Bible – contemporary translation
A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!