Weekly e-Devotion: May 29 Edition

Acts 2:1-21 

1st Reading for Sunday May 31 2020

2When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17
‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
   and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
   and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
   in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
     and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
   and signs on the earth below,
     blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
   and the moon to blood,
     before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Glossolalia

    There may be many of you who are unfamiliar with the word glossolalia. And if you grew up in the Lutheran tradition you have probably not spent much time thinking about it. It is the ten-dollar word for the gift of speaking in tongues. I want to share an incident with you, but I must first say two things. One, I think favorably about this charismatic gift. Not as a gift that had its purpose in its time and is no more, and not just out of respect for our Pentecostal brothers and sisters. I have a long-held view that this remains an effective gift even in the Lutheran church today. Secondly, my take on this gift is not something I have heard from scholars or pastors. It’s just me observing the Holy Spirit at work. So as you read the incident to follow, please bear with me and remember to search the Scriptures for yourself to see what God has to say.
   
About two years ago I was participating in an intense week of classes, forums and worship. More than half of the 20 or so participants were Pentecostal and spoke frequently about their experience with speaking in tongues. On the last day our Pentecostal professor asked us to participate in a special prayer session with him and those so moved should speak in tongues. After our prayer time there was some general conversation and one of the “speakers” near me asked somebody, “Didn’t you hear me speaking in tongues over you?” The man replied, “All I heard was English.” Said the first, “See, I was actually speaking in tongues but you heard English.” I’m not sure that I need to speak my puzzlement out loud right now. I think you might wonder with me what kind of special tongue is it that is spoken by an English speaker to an English speaker who heard it in English?
   
And therein lies my point. It is a gift of communication that another understands with amazement. Acts 2:7-8 says “They were amazed and astonished, saying, ....we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”
   
They understood. They were amazed. They heard about the mighty acts of God in a way that was meaningful and brought the message home. Yet others in the room mocked them, thinking they were merely drunk. They did not understand. On that day and many days it does refer to the gift of speaking in an unknown foreign tongue to somebody for whom it is the native tongue. But I suggest that each of us may suddenly find ourselves gifted with the unique language of a heart that is waiting to let the Spirit in. Perhaps you will share the Gospel in a way that somebody else truly understands for the first time. Or your song or story or poem may touch somebody’s heart with the message of Christ that makes them long for more. You may explain the cross over a home-cooked meal or over a hospital bed through a language of life. Or offer a prayer in a moment of despair or say “God loves you” to a lonely person who may finally hear Christ with their heart. Maybe, if you let him, that will be the Holy Spirit speaking tongues through you. This is not how the original charismatic gift of tongues was introduced, but the Holy Spirit continues to give us words so we may speak the Gospel into a world foreign to it and bring people the good news of Jesus Christ in the language that speaks to their hearts.
   
Every year at the end of Easter we celebrate the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit made himself known with fiery and foreign tongues. God has not stopped pouring out his Spirit on all mankind and he has not stopped using men and women to speak light into the darkness and make the way clear to those who have not yet understood the greatest gift of God’s love in Jesus Christ.

e-Devotion author: Bobbie Tomasek.
If you are interested in becoming an e-Devotion author, please contact Pastor Dan at [email protected] or 602.866.9191.
The e-Devotion can also be viewed on the All Saints website.


PRAYER FOR THE WEEK

Heavenly Father, fire us up so we speak boldly of your love for all people, which unites us beyond our expectations. Amen.


Our pastors and other program directors are here to help nurture your faith journey anyway possible. Our staff can be reached by calling the church office at 602.866.9191.


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BIBLE READINGS

May 31
Day of Pentecost

Click HERE to read
Acts 2:1-21 *
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
John 7:37-3

June 7
Trinity Sunday

Click HERE to read
Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Psalm 8
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Matthew 28:16-20

* eDevotion Bible text(s)


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