Reading: Acts 2: 5-21
Verse 17: “In the last days, I will pour out my Holy Spirit on all people”.
In the opening chapter of Acts, Jesus ascends to heaven and the disciples choose Matthais to replace Judas, once again bringing the number of disciples to twelve. Just before ascending, Jesus tells them that they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem and that they will be “my witnesses… to the ends of the earth”. Acts 2 opens with the coming of the promised Holy Spirit. It enables the followers of Jesus to speak in other languages.
In today’s passage,they speak in the languages of all those Jews who have come to see what the violent wind meant. It meant come and hear the good news of Jesus Christ – at least that’s what God purpose for it was! Amazed and perplexed by what is happening, they asked one another, “What does this mean”? This was a totally new experience for everyone involved. Some question what is going on, forcing Peter to stand up to offer an explanation.
Peter connects back to the Old Testament scriptures and to the prophet Joel. Peter is using what they are familiar with to help them understand what they just experienced. Peter is an excellent evangelist. Evangelism 101 tells us that if we want to share Jesus Christ with another, we should first get to know their story. Jesus also usually followed this basic pattern as well, often getting to know another’s needs. So we are in good company if our first step of evangelism or mission is to begin to form a relationship with the other. Peter has a basic relationship with his audience, being a Jew himself. Sometimes this is the case with us too. When we share our faith story with someone we know, we usually know some of their story. In these cases, we can tie our story into their story.
In Acts 2, that is what Peter does. He uses Joel’s prophetic words to explain what has just happened there that day in Jerusalem. Joel predicted it, the Jews know the prediction, and now they have witnessed it being fulfilled. Peter connects the dots to show how God is at work in the world and in their lives. When we have the chance to share our faith story, we too must connect the story of what Jesus has done in our lives with the vision of what He could do in the life of the one we are ministering to. This day, may we seek an opportunity to be a witness to our faith, opening the door for another to take a step of faith. May it be so.
Prayer: Lord God, help me to find opportunity today to share my faith. May my story connect with another, helping them to step towards a relationship with Jesus Christ, your Son. Amen.