Summary: The promise of the Holy spirit happens, but most people becom experts in Quenching it. We have to learn t listen, Learn to hear. Here is how. Spirit 101
Have you ever been around someone that you just don’t quite understand what they are saying? Maybe you think you know, but you are afraid you might not have it right?
Back in High school, there was this girl I liked. We went bowling a couple of times with a group. I was not old enough to drive. So my folks or her grandmother had to take us places. We were friends. I was a little shy, Well very shy. I wanted to hold her hand, but I was just so scared that I never could make myself do it.
What if she did not want to? What if her family saw it?
One evening we were invited to join her aunt and uncle and go to dinner at a Mexican place. We were in the back seat. Backing out of the drive way. She reached over and took my hand.
We held hands all the way to the restaurant and all the way home. My fingers went numb, but I did not want to let go.
There was a common message, based on friendship. I was too timid… or more plainly said, chicken to just take a tiny risk.
There was a message being sent, I just failed to act.
A few weeks ago we heard how Jesus breathed on the disciples, in the locked room, and told them to receive the Holy Spirit – and they received the power to forgive sins. We talked then about how experiencing the Holy Spirit is something you pick up slowly. It seems that today we have to learn to listen and respond.
How at that the disciples need to forgive sin’s , their own sins first. Desertion, denial, fear, doubt…. And then for forgive each other for their failures for the group stay together.
Jesus came to the group over the next 40 days and spoke to them about the kingdom of God.
Our scripture today happens after Jesus tells his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they receive the gift that God has promised.
The gift is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
It appears that they waited up to 10 days after Jesus ascended into heaven. The day the Spirit was sent was a day of celebration for the Jews called Pentecost.
Pentecost is the last day of the season of Passover. On the first day of Passover is the festival of unleavened bread. The beginning of the harvest when the first fruits were brought to the temple. On Pentecost bread is made as part of the feast and is given at the temple, but because it has yeast, it never touches the alter. It is raised up and praised given to God.
The word Pentecost means 50 and is the 50th day after the beginning of Passover. The celebration of this day is to celebrate the giving of the Law to the people on Mt. Sinai. The day when the 10 commandments were written in stone were delivered to the people by Moses.
So there were about 120 disciples in the room. Waiting and praying. Wondering when something is going to happen. They hear a sound like the tornado from the Wizard of OZ or the movie twister. They can’t tell where it is coming from. It had to be frightening.
Then the light show starts they saw what “seemed to be tongues of fire” That separated and moved to each of them. And they all started talking in other languages, languages they did not know..
They must have rushed out into the streets and people from all over heard them speaking. Each one heard them speaking in “their own language.”
Today, here in the US, Most of us don’t speak more than one language. In Europe that may speak several. It is like a person from Germany being in England ad he hears someone on the street speaking in German. It catches his ear Or if you were in France and heard English. You would tune right in. It happens even closer that that. If you go to New York City fro a few days and hear someone with a southern accent. You would notice.
The people are attracted to the tornado sound and are amazed at of all the disciples testifying about Jesus Christ.
What a sight, all the folks talking at once. It must have looked pretty wild.
The amazing this was these people that were speaking in all the languages looked like Galileans.
Galileans were considered to be lower on the totem-pole than people from Mississippi. They were considered uneducated, improper hicks. Rarely did a Galilean have to ability to speak multiple languages.
So where are we going today? If we take the story that we read we are looking at the Birthday of the church. The 120 people that were disciples suddenly lit like candles on a cake. Their actions the testifying in the street was so wild looking that some of the people thought they were drunk.