23/05/2021 | THE HOLY SPIRIT POURED OUT
2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
2:2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
2:3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.
2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
2:5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.
2:6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.
2:7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
2:8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?
2:9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
2:11 Cretans and Arabs–in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.”
2:12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
2:13 But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
2:14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.
2:15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning.
2:16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
2:17 ‘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.
2:18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
2:19 And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
2:20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
2:21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Scripture texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
- Read the passage slowly and dramatically. What did you notice? What stood out?
- There seems to be two parts to the amazement and astonishment of the crowd – that Galileans were speaking various languages (v. 7) and that they each could hear their own language (v.8). Think about how hard it is to hear when people are speaking at the same time in one language. Now try to imagine being able to pick out your own language and understand what people are saying! If you had been in that crowd, would you have been amazed (v. 12) or skeptical (v. 13)?
- Have you ever experienced what might be described as the Holy Spirit being poured out on you? What was it like? Where were you?
- Why does our culture tend to be skeptical about experiences with God?
- What are some markers or signs of an authentic encounter with the Holy Spirit? Read Galatians 5:22-23 to help in your answer.
- What are some practices that we make use of as a church that open us up to experiencing the Holy Spirit?
End off with a time of prayer.