Walking in my North London neighborhood, I can hear snatches of conversation in many languages—Polish, Japanese, Hindi, Croatian, and Italian, to name a few. This diversity feels like a taste of heaven, yet I can’t understand what they’re saying. As I step into the Russian café or the Polish market and hear the different accents and sounds, I sometimes reflect on how wonderful it must have been on the day of Pentecost when people of many nations could understand what the disciples were saying.
On that day, pilgrims gathered together in Jerusalem to celebrate the festival of the harvest. The Holy Spirit rested on the believers so that when they spoke, the hearers (who had come from all over the known world) could understand them in their own languages (Acts 2:5–6). What a miracle that these strangers from different lands could understand the praises to God in their own tongues! Many were spurred on to find out more about Jesus.
We may not speak or understand many languages, but we know that the Holy Spirit equips us to connect with people in other ways. Amazingly, we are God’s hands and feet—and mouth—to further His mission. Today, how might we—with the Spirit’s help—reach out to someone unlike us?
Lord, give us eyes to see those around us as You see them. Give us ears to hear their stories; give us hearts to share Your love.
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Love is the language everybody understands.
Hours before Jesus went to the cross, He promised His disciples He would send “another advocate to help [them] and be with [them] forever—the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16–17). Before ascending to heaven, Jesus restated His promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4–5). What Jesus promised, the Father fulfilled on the day of Pentecost (2:1–12). The Feast of Pentecost is also called the Festival of Harvest (Ex. 23:16) or the Festival of Weeks (Deut. 16:10). It is celebrated fifty days after Passover to express thanks to the Lord for the blessing of the harvest (Lev. 23:15–22). Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples on the day He died (Mark 14:12; Luke 22:15; John 18:28), and the Holy Spirit was sent fifty days later.