Peace be with you!
With Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media sites, the world is quickly becoming smaller as communication barriers become a thing of the past. The hashtag #BringBackOurGirls caught hold on social media sites on April 24, 2014. A militant terrorist group to undermine education for young girls kidnapped 276 girls at a Nigerian school on April 14. Their mothers held “Bring Back Our Girls” signs at a rally on their capitol steps. The world joined the outcries of the girls’ mothers.
For weeks, the disciples have been in limbo – unsure of where to go or what to do. The disciples have been praying for guidance. Jesus Christ has gone to God the Father after promising to send an Advocate to lead the disciple into the unknown wilderness. The disciples wait in Jerusalem to be led by the Advocate. He seems to never come. The disciples wait and wait for something to happen.
Finally, when the followers of Jesus are gathered in one place, there is a violent wind from the heavens filling everyone with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-2, 4). The disciples, Galileans, start speaking foreign languages to share the good news of God’s power and grace (Acts 2:9-11). Jews from other nations gather around the disciples, confused by how they could hear the Good News in their own languages (Acts 2:7-8, 12-13). There were Parthians, Medes, Elamites, proselytes, Cretans and Arabs, and Jews from Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome (Acts 2:9-11). Somehow, all of these individuals were hearing the Good News in their native language.
The Holy Spirit fulfills Jesus’ promise of an Advocate to come and gives the disciples a way to communicate with other individuals who speak different languages. Although Jesus Christ is not physically presentthe Good News builds momentum throughout the world with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within each of us. We are marked by the cross and led by the Spirit. Because the language of the flesh has its limits and cannot properly explain God’s love, we, as his disciples, must speak the language of the Spirit, even if it confuses us at times. The Holy Spirit breaks down barriers and gives way to unlimited possibilities. Our relationship with God the Father dramatically changes with the Holy Spirit’s presence in the world. We all become children of God when the Holy Spirit translates the Good News into our own language and capability to understand. We come to see that our God is an inclusive God who welcomes all into his kingdom.
God the Father surely must cry out every time we turn our backs away from him. God the Father took dramatic actions to call us, his children, back to him by sending Jesus Christ, his only begotten son, to suffer and die on a cross for our sins. The cross quickly became the universal sign of forgiveness and grace. Even before hashtags, the good news of Jesus Christ spread throughout the world once the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. What if we start a campaign using the hashtag #TheHolySpiritInMe to share the Good News? How many people would hear the Good News?
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the Holy Spirit to share the Good News in our own languages. Help us to welcome all people to hear it. Lead us with the Holy Spirit to be your disciples in the world. Thank you for welcoming everyone into your kingdom. Amen.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the behavior covenant by commenting on it.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
- Who welcomed you into God’s family?
- How does the Good News speak to you?
- How do you plan on sharing the hashtag #TheHolySpiritInMe?