“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.” Acts 2:17 (Peter referencing Joel 2:28)
A few years ago, I hosted a 16-year-old exchange student from Bolivia for a couple months. While Gabo knew English fairly well, he’d not had much opportunity to practice it conversationally. The first week or so was tough, but before long, he was really getting the hang of it.
Gabo’s passion to learn English made him an amazing conversationalist. He listened so intently. He’d explore his ideas as I gave him possible words to express his emotions and dreams for the future to help him clarify his thoughts. It was odd, but the more we talked, the more his plans seemed to grow more exciting.
Gabo shared that his hope was to learn English so well, that he would be wake up one morning and realized that he had dreamed in English. What an amazing thing to think about!
This Sunday marks 50 days since Christians celebrated Easter and Jews celebrated Passover. Both religions celebrate Pentecost to celebrate the power of God among them. While Jews celebrate it as a harvest festival marking 50 days after the Exodus when God established the covenant law with the Hebrew people, Christians celebrate the birth of the Church through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples 50 days after Christ’s resurrection.
The account of how the Christian celebration of Pentecost came to be is found in Acts 2. The story is filled with drama, excitement, mystery and confusion as the Holy Spirit fills the room the disciples are sitting in. Multi-lingual Jews were gathered in Jerusalem and heard the disciples speaking in their own native tongue.
Then apostle Peter begins to interpret what was happening by referencing the prophet, Joel. The power of God was being stirred up in the people, and it was happening right that very minute!
Dreaming dreams and seeing visions—usually we can only explain those in our own language or not at all. But I daresay, that when we challenge ourselves to cross the barriers of culture, language, socio-economic, and religion, our dreams become more intense. Our visions become clearer.
What Pentecost moments is the Spirit stirring up around us in these days? What might be a barrier the Holy Spirit is calling you to cross? What does it look like to share the universal language of love and compassion through words AND actions in those spaces?