Divided tongues as of fire… Acts 2:1-21 The gas stove we had in my childhood home sometimes wouldn’t light. So as one might guess the oven required the assistance of lighted of a match. I’d seen my mother do this many times and I was quite confident that I was ready to get the oven preheated as she had instructed me. So when the oven did not light this particular time I preceded to reach for the matches that were kept in the nearby drawer. However, I did not turn the oven off to keep the gas from filling up inside. By the time I reached down and stuck my hand and head in just far enough to see the pilot it was good and ready for a flame. Before I knew it the oven came to life as a coiled tongue of fire lit up and extended itself outside of the oven like a micro-explosion and sent me flying backwards against the wall knocking over a few things in the process. My mother rushed downstairs to see that indeed the oven had been lit and her youngest daughter sprawled out on the floor. My mother realized what had happened and after making sure that I wasn’t hurt, she looked at me kind of funny as if she’d seen a ghost then burst out laughing. I had a halo of singed hair around my face including my eyebrows and eyelashes. Although shocked by the impact, I am here today to testify that tongues of fire will indeed change you.
I am convinced that my own early experience with flames of fire was for the purpose of telling the truth about Pentecost being alive today ready to singe the hair on our faces that we may speak with boldness about the Gospel and live according to it’s message of love in order that others may also come to experience the power of the Holy Spirit! When the believers in Jerusalem were hit with those tongues of fire resting perfectly on each of them – as they opened their mouths to speak in their own language, I believe only one message was being spoken and one message was being heard; God’s deeds of power through Christ to love God and love neighbor as self. Every time we open our mouths to speak we will be heard in any language because of how we love God and love one another – clear indications of who we are as disciples of Christ. Because of Pentecost we live singed by fire and changed by Love!
Have you ever taken a vacation, however short or long and found you needed another few days to recuperate from getting away and then find yourself not really getting back into the swing of things until you receive a phone call from a friend? Perhaps “recuperating” is a lousy excuse for staying away from the blog which I really do enjoy writing, yet at the same time I recognize that life and simply living can and should be its own reward. So let’s just say I took some time to simply live. However, it was my BFF who called in the middle of her work day just to make sure things were okay. Thus, my first blog back from “recuperating” is to give glory to God and thank him for the friends in my life. It is during “recuperation” when relationships have an opportunity to either bloom, perhaps become more clear or simply be reinforced. I had the experience of all three in the past two weeks and have come to the conclusion that the life God has given me is filled with many blessings. Never mind the struggles as we all have. Through Christ, we are all branches from the root of Jesse. This alone gives us reason to celebrate the gift of the spirit we received at Pentecost, which lives within us today. Without it life and living really is just another day but with it life and living is a daily blessing from God.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Proverbs 27:9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.
Most assuredly, if blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe, faith then is confidence in God. True confidence nurtures expectation. Expectation shapes our hope in Christ and hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us (Romans 5). Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit, is given to all those who have faith in the Son sent by the Father. As his disciples today, we fulfill the scripture when we witness and testify to his love, faithfulness and truth, and the ministry of Christ continues to make available to every one who believes, the reconciliation of our lives to the Father and the Son. And through the Holy Spirit our 1 day recognition of this gift becomes a 366 day celebration of life redeemed in the spirit of truth, giving all glory to God. Amen.
“When the Day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” Acts 2:1-21