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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, June 4, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Acts 2:1–21

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

“‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (NRSV)

I'm always a little jealous of the Pentecost story—to have the path before me clearly laid out. Suddenly with great pomp and circumstance, the Holy Spirit enters the disciples and equips them with the tools necessary to go out into the world and share the good news of the gospel with God's diverse creation. There are times when I hope for a sign to help discern my next steps. And I will be honest, I usually want a sign with wind and fire and miracles. If not that, maybe a nice neon sign pointing the way? 

But the truth is, I already have the tools required of me. And while signs today may not come in the form of flames of fire, it might come from a conversation with a stranger, or simply a nudging feeling nagging at me to step outside my comfort zone and do more. Because there is a fire inside me. There are things that I care deeply about and want to work on to make the world a better place.

I will be honest, that fire isn’t always the thing burning brightest in my heart; like all fires, it takes tending. So, as I reflect on this Pentecost story, may I remember to open my eyes and ears to the signs around me, and tend to the things that light the fire in my soul. 

Open my heart and mind to see and hear your guidance, O God. Give me the wisdom to listen to the signs you give me. Help me to tend the fire of the Holy Spirit in my heart so that I can work to bring about your work here on Earth. Amen. 

Written by Katie Patterson, Youth Ministry Program Manager

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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