The following devotion, pulled from the ELCA’s monthly GNEWS newsletter, was written by our very own Erin Darnell.
“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 2:1-4
How do we trust that everything is in the hands of a God we can’t even see? In a country and world more divided than ever, this passage is a beacon of hope for those despairing. In the preceding passages, the disciples, betrayed by Judas, are searching for a new leader now that Jesus has died and ascended into heaven. They seem to be wondering the same thing we are: What now? To continue their work, the disciples seek to travel and spread the good news and story of Jesus, however, they are separated by language. How can they transfer their message if they don’t speak the same language as people they are talking to? Just then, the Holy Spirit comes down, in “what seemed to be tongues of fire” and settles to a rest on their shoulders. Suddenly, they are all speaking different languages, yet they can still understand one another! As they go out to spread the good news in these new languages, many accuse the disciples of drunkenness, as it is impossible for these Galileans to speak so many different tongues. Again, doubt is confronted. The people in the Bible had doubts and so do we – we are all human. Today, how are we supposed to face doubts about our future when things seem so bleak? You see, when we are at our lowest, when we doubt the most, and when every door seems closed, the Holy Spirit comes down and beckons us toward God. By providing presence and hope, God changes everything.