On that Pentecost day following Jesus’ascension, the circle of believers was already united in purpose, having constantly prayed together, having devoted themselves to waiting on God as Jesus had commanded, and to following what they understood to be God’s purpose (choosing Matthias to replace Judas).
They were ready. And they were not alone.
The devout Jews “from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem” were obviously, not from that group; but they did not threaten the cohesiveness of the believers. Rather, the Holy Spirit reversed the curse of Babel and had them speaking each other’s language. They understood one another. What a force! One in the Spirt, one in the Lord!
The cynics referred to new wine. There are cynics everywhere. It is important not to allow the distractions to become the attractions. How often do we allow the side-line problem to be the show when God is powerful enough to fuel the mission to which we have been called?
As Jesus said, a divided house will not stand. How often do we fall apart rather than stand together? People of different nationalities, ethnicities and languages, united in the Spirit, must, in the power of the Spirit, and through the Communion of the Spirit, devote themselves to proclaiming the power of God’s presence rather than feed the cynical expectations that threaten to dismantle the united.
After all, do we believe that with God all things are possible?
Do we not see that our world is as much in need of God’s good news as never before? Then let us not waste time or effort but be involved in waiting on God and together pursuing the common mission of making disciples. God is depending on us.
We will walk with each other.
We will walk hand in hand
And together we’ll spread the news
That God is in our land.
And they’ll know we are Christians
By our love, by our love.
Yes they’ll know we are Christians
By our love.
Peter Scholtes (1938-2009))