Every year on Pentecost Sunday, we read Acts 2:1-13 in worship. The Holy Spirit gave those friends of Jesus the ability to speak, but the Spirit also enabled all those people from so many corners of the world to hear the story of Jesus.
The miracle of Pentecost is a miracle not just of speaking but of hearing. And as a result of hearing, 3,000 people were baptized and brought into faith (Acts 2:41). The Breath of God moved in and through those first followers to speak, and then moved in and through those others to listen. And in this manner, the body of Christ grew, changed, was re-formed into a community of diverse and faithful people.
These days more than ever, we need to be re-formed into communities that not only speak but also listen. Our divisions are painful, and our separations are deep, but the Spirit can work in us to rebuild, repair, and reform us into a community of both loving speech and deep listening.
This message is excerpted from the Bible study “The gift of the Spirit: A divine wild goose chase” by Sara Olson-Smith in the September/October 2021 Gather magazine. Today is Pentecost Sunday. Today we commemorate Boniface, Bishop of Mainz, missionary to Germany, martyr, 754.
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