This Sunday is Pentecost, the closing of Eastertide. And what a closing it is!
“Pente” means fifty, thus fifty days after Easter. Originally, it celebrated thanksgiving for the firstfruits of the wheat season. Later, it was associated with remembering the Law given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.
But for Christians, it is a remembrance of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Remember last week, we talked about Jesus telling the disciples to wait there in Jerusalem until they were “clothed with power (dynamite) from on high.”
Luke tells us that while they waited, one thing they did was to—
. . . constantly join together in prayer, along with the women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. Acts 1:14
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together.
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole place where they were sitting. Acts 2:2
Notice how the senses were involved in this dramatic scene. First they heard the sound of wind. Yes, a mighty wind can produce quite a roar. It filled the whole place. They not only heard it they felt it blowing against their faces, whipping their clothes this way and that. Then they saw something.
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. Acts 2:3
Remember how God revealed himself in the desert with the cloud and the fire? Perhaps they even smelled it.
I find it interesting that they saw the flames as “tongues” of fire. This warmth of the Holy Spirit separated and came to rest on each one, causing their tongues to speak in different languages.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:4
Indeed, dynamite (Greek word for “power”) had come upon them, helping them to speak languages they did not know—even more powerful than Cleopas and his partner felt when “their hearts burned within them.”
Since this was a festival time, practicing Jews had come from many countries. Each disciple had now been equipped to speak in a different language. As they moved among these strangers, the disciples spoke to them in their native tongues.
Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Acts 2:7-8
Peter stood up that day and addressed the entire crowd, maybe in their common Aramaic language or in Greek. He made such an impact on them that about three thousand were added to their number that day.
What a culmination to the Eastertide season. Dynamite indeed!
~ Joyce ~