Crossroads: Pentecost

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Acts 2:1-21

Your Story

Talk about a time when God did something amazing in your life. How did you feel? What did you do?

My Story and the Bible Story

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the French language. And as soon as I got to high school, I started taking French. Because I went to a private, Catholic school, one of the first things I learned was the Lord’s Prayer in French. When I was about 14, we went to a wedding in a tiny town in Quebec. I was so excited that I got to use my French! The wedding was in both French and English. And I was thrilled when the congregation began to say the Lord’s Prayer in French. I knew it! I knew what they were saying and I joined in. It was a wonderful thing to understand their prayer and to be able to say it.

Read Acts 2:1-21. From the NIV: When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem Godfearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 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? Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The Jews in Jerusalem were amazed! They were from many nations and spoke many different languages, but they all heard about God in their own language! They understood what the disciples were saying. It didn’t matter what language they spoke, they heard about God’s love. Here’s the thing: the disciples spoke Aramaic. So before this day, anyone who didn’t understand Aramaic couldn’t hear about God’s love. But when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples like tongues of fire, suddenly they had the ability to speak in the languages of the visiting people. It was a miracle. God showed that God’s love was for everyone that day. God showed that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, and that the Gospel is for everyone.

Maybe you haven’t learned another language yet and that’s okay. There are people who tell others about God in every language. Think about the first time you heard about God’s love. Now imagine all of the people who spoke all kinds of different languages learning about God’s love for the first time! That was Pentecost. That was the day that everything changed for all of those people, because they heard about Jesus in their own language. We can share Jesus with others too, whether or not they speak our language. There are Bibles written in just about every language. And we can be kind to everyone we meet, whether or not they speak the same language we do. Look for ways to share God’s love with others this week.

Discussion

• Is there anyone in your life who speaks a different language than you do? How can you share God’s love with them?
• Has God done something amazing in your life to help you understand something? Talk about that with your family.

Prayer

Thank God that God’s love is for everyone. Ask God for help in sharing it with others.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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