This podcast was recorded weeks ago and is the final in our Bible series this school year. While the events in the last week have seemed gut wrenching, this podcast and blog can be a beginning of some discussion on how God is still speaking. Pentecost is a time for us to celebrate the Holy Spirit uniting us together in ministry. Use this as a spring board for your devotion, education and conversation that is needed for the Holy Spirit to move us into a place of unity and understanding of one another.
- Acts 2:1-21
- Genesis 11:1-9
- Interestingly, the word “Pentecost” doesn’t have anything to do with the Holy Spirit or anything spiritual at all. It means “fiftieth” and refers to a festival that was celebrated 50 days after Passover.
- We now understand Pentecost to have been a moment when God poured out the Holy Spirit on early followers of Jesus, fulfilling the promise to be with them always and inspiring the birth of the early church.
- There is a neat parallel between the story of Pentecost and the “Tower of Babel” story from Genesis 11 (also in today’s readings). In the Genesis story, diverse language becomes a stumbling block for the people, dividing them and limiting their power. In Acts, the Holy Spirit allows people to transcend differences in language, bringing people together and empowering them to join together in ministry.
- After the drama of Pentecost, Peter makes some pretty lofty statements about how the Spirit of God will be made manifest in people’s lives. Do you feel like those statements are true of Christians today? How so?
- Does the story of Pentecost tell us anything about how God intends to be at work in the world? Does it tell us anything about the role we have to play? (This is an interesting contrast to last week’s eschatological worldview in which God will single-handedly sweep in and perform a “divine cleanup” of the world.)
- Can you think of places or situations in which you have seen a “Pentecost moment”? Or, perhaps, places or situations in which you would pray to see a Pentecost moment?
- The United Church of Christ uses the phrase “God is still speaking” to describe their understanding of God’s continuing activity in and through us. Do you think God is still speaking? How? Or why not?
- What do you think of the idea that we are writing the “Third Testament” or “Continuing Testament” of God’s ongoing presence and action in the world? What books or writings (or podcasts or blogs) would you include in that Third Testament? What would you write?