A Series of Strange Events

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Nehemiah 1-3; Acts 2:1-21

When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place.Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

There were pious Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered. They were mystified because everyone heard them speaking in their native languages. They were surprised and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all the people who are speaking Galileans, every one of them? How then can each of us hear them speaking in our native language? (Acts 2:1-8, Common English Bible).

“Dude, you are on fire! No, really man, YOU ARE ON FIRE!”

Those four words, “You are on fire,” have taken on new words in our society over the last few generations. There was once when someone would say something like “You’re on fire” and it only meant one thing. You got too close to the campfire and now your clothes have lit up and you better do something about it, quick. You better do what our kids learn very early on, “STOP! DROP! ROLL!

Today that idea has gained a new friend in the meaning game. Today we might mean someone is literally on fire but, at least in my experience, the newer meaning is far more common. Yesterday I was getting updates while I was working from the Astros game. Justin Verlander struck out seven while he was in the game. He was on fire! Every Astro who went to the plate yesterday got at least one hit. They were on fire!

When my boys were young they had a Nintendo game console (while I don’t know if it is Nintendo or not, they both still have them, for their kids, I ‘m sure). One of the games they had for their Nintendo was a basketball game (I think). When they were playing really well, the avatar on the screen would have these cheesy looking flames coming ff the player and some computer voice would come say, “You’re on fire.”

Besides the flames, there was wind, or at least the sounds of wind blowing through the house. Then these guys, these uneducated fishermen started talking in other languages and the people gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost were understanding every word.

In a Pentecost sermon I wrote, some years back, I titled “Unscrambling Babel,” I said it would be like Bob was speaking German and Sue was speaking Russian. Mary was speaking French and Sid was speaking Finnish. I could go on but I think you get the point. But, none of the disciples were speaking any of those languages. They most likely were speaking Aramaic or maybe Greek. That is what I said then. But, I didn’t take it far enough. I may think Bob is speaking German and I am hearing it in German, but Sue, who remember speaks Russian is hearing Russian not Bob’s German. Further, Mary, who remember speaks French, is not hearing Bob in Aramaic or Greek or German. She speaks French and she hears him in French.

People walking around supposed them to be drunk or crazy but it wasn’t any of those things. What they experienced was, the power of the Holy Spirit. If we watch the world around us, we too may just be able to see the power of the Holy Spirit at work too.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Resereved

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