April 10

Acts 2:1-4a

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” vs.4

According to the book of Acts the resurrected Jesus promised that the disciples would be filled with the Holy Spirit so that they might be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. That promise was fulfilled in a spectacular way on the day of Pentecost with a sound like the rushing wind and the appearance of tongues as of fire on each one of them. It’s striking that the very first gift of the Holy Spirit was the ability to speak in other languages, which would be a very handy thing if they were going to accomplish their mission. There’s nothing that opens doors faster than being able to speak other languages. That’s why language training is the first thing that happens when people are sent out on missions to foreign lands. In the story of the tower of Babel the language of the people was confused by the Lord and they were no longer able to understand one another. Pentecost turns that story upside down–in Christ all language barriers would be broken down, and all people would be able to hear the good news of the gospel in their own tongues. And to a great extent that is what has happened. With great effort on the part of linguists the New Testament has been translated into hundreds of languages. It’s one of the great gifts that the Church has been able to give the world.

Thought for the Day: What’s kept me from learning other languages?

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