All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
It is well known that Pentecost reverses Babel. The people who built the tower of Babel sought to make a name, and a unity, for themselves. At Pentecost, God builds his temple, uniting people in Christ and spreading the good news of the gospel to all nations (see Kevin J. Vanhoozer’s Biblical Authority after Babel, 2016). Although onlookers think that the believers who receive the Spirit at Pentecost are babbling incoherently or drunkenly (see Acts 2:13), in fact they are speaking intelligibly about the gospel in many languages that they them- selves do not know (see vv. 8–11). It takes a thousand tongues to say and sing our great Redeemer’s praise. And it takes the infilling of the Spirit to set hearts ablaze, give a holy boldness, and provide a message to which people from any culture will respond.
Wesleyan Methodist pastor and scholar Samuel Chadwick wrote, “I owe everything to the gift of Pentecost. For fifty days the facts of the gospel were complete, but no conversions were recorded. Pentecost registered three thousand souls. . . . Truth without enthusiasm, morality without emotion, ritual without soul, make of a church without power. Destitute of the fire of God, nothing else counts; possessing fire, nothing else matters.”
O Lord, on this Pentecost, would you renew a holy passion in your church through a fresh infilling of your Spirit? As we have sought you in one accord these past fifty days, would you send your fire to rekindle our hearts to live with your passion?
Prayer Journal Reflections
Reflect on the mission in the church in Canada and the United States.
Director, USA/Canada Region