Today’s Scriptures: Lectionary selections from the Revised Common Lectionary Year C
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
Understanding sometimes gets in the way of the noblest endeavors. Someone misunderstands a measurement and you have a leaning wall. Someone misunderstands a command and you have a war. Everyone understands each other and humanity’s ego challenges God. But when God provides a way to reconnect with humanity, understanding becomes a great gift from him.
The Day of Pentecost focuses on what unites us. THE Holy Spirit came not just from the apostles, but to all believers who call on the name of the Lord. The experience had to be so exciting with the “tongues, as of fire,” spread through the crowd accompanied by the sound of wind. Suddenly a barrier between the apostles and most of the world disappeared: everyone in the presence could understand the message of Jesus Christ.
Some churches celebrate the giving of the gift of tongues, but what stands out in the passages today is not the speaking, but the understanding that took place. God suddenly made it possible for everyone to know his will in the world. Peter dismisses those who would challenge the event by recalling prophesy that the Spirit is for ALL believers – those with societal rank (old men) and those without (slaves). The Roman and John passages reinforce the identical message: God’s Spirit will dwell with all believers.
The gap between humankind and God no longer existed as the Spirit was there to “teach and remind” (John 14) all believers what was expected. With the Holy Spirit in our midst, we no longer have the excuse, “I didn’t understand,” and true understanding may be the best gift God has ever given us.
Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org