ODJ: A New Language

May 30, 2018 

READ: Acts 2:1-13 

Everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages (v.4).

Many years ago a hurricane forced my wife Miska and me to evacuate a resort in Cancun, Mexico, where we were celebrating our tenth anniversary. On our way to the airport, I got lost and stopped for directions. Unfortunately, I couldn’t understand the people who tried to help since they were speaking in Spanish. Finally I called a bilingual friend and had them talk to the clerk at a service station. Fortunately we made it in time for the last flight out that day.

I remember how lost I felt with no way to communicate, and when in desperation I landed on the idea of calling my friend, it was like a whole new way opened up. When I got him on the phone, I sensed we were going to be okay.

On the day of Pentecost, thousands of Jewish pilgrims descended on Jerusalem. Using modern geography, people had gathered from Iran, Palestine, Israel, Syria, Turkey, North Africa, Rome and beyond (Acts 2:9-11). And remarkably, when Peter began to proclaim the story of Jesus, the Holy Spirit wove the words in such a beautiful way that these disparate travellers “came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken” (v.6 niv). It was astounding.

Over the course of that miraculous day, thousands came to believe in and follow Jesus (v.41). When the Holy Spirit came, people spoke in new languages, but even more important was what those new languages made possible. Those who had been enemies were now friends. Those who had been confused now saw the truth clearly. Those who had been far from God were now drawn into God’s powerful story. We hear God’s new language every time He opens our eyes or ears, and we understand His love as if for the very first time.

—Winn Collier

365-day plan: Daniel 2:25-49

Read the extended effects of Pentecost (Acts 2:42-47). What strikes you about what took place? How do you long to experience these things in your own life? 
How has God given you a ‘new language’ to express His truth and love? What does it mean for you to know the Holy Spirit is working in and through you?