When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:1-21, NRSV)
There were devout Jews from all over gathered together for the festival of Pentecost. Not as we know it but the Jewish festival.
And when the rushing wind came through, the violent rushing wind, they started speaking and everyone heard their own language!
What a reason to just about lose it! I mean think about it for a moment. If you were in a room with people who only spoke, French, and German and Italian, and Spanish, and all of a sudden you said something and everyone understood you, would you find comfort in this?
This is what the Spirit does, and yet we refer to the Holy Spirit as comforter. This rushing wind is more like an agitator here then a comforter!
The spirit moved and moved the disciples out to tell the story! That is what the Spirit is, a motivator!
A comforter, an agitator, an advocate, a pusher, a motivator. The Spirit helps us in all circumstances, to comfort our fears, and to push us to the lengths God knows we can go.
The spirit is the reason we believe, as Luther said, “I believe that I cannot come to my Lord Jesus Christ by my own intelligence or power. But the Holy Spirit called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with her gifts, made me holy and kept me in the true faith, just as she calls, gathers together, enlightens and makes holy the whole Church on earth and keeps it with Jesus in the one, true faith. In this Church, she generously forgives each day every sin committed by me and by every believer. On the last day, she will raise me and all the dead from the grave. She will give eternal life to me and to all who believe in Christ. Yes, this is true!”