Pentecost, 19 May 2024: Ezekiel 37:1-14; Acts 2:1-21; John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15; Psalm 104:25-35, 37

The spirit descended on the house. “And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.”

At a former church I attended, we read the reading from Acts in many languages: we started with ancient Greek, ended with English, but we used all the languages known by church members. You heard the cacophany. It wasn’t that easy to pick out any one language, though.

Recently I’ve wondered if what really happened was that people heard what they needed to hear, if what was preached spoke to their varied needs and feelings. That is no more miraculous than the multiple languages, but speaks to the ways we hear the words of the gospel in different ways at different times.

In Ezekiel’s account of the Valley of the Dry Bones, bodies are not fully alive until they receive the spirit. We need the spirit, which comes among us on the day of Pentecost.


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