Monday, May 28, 2012


Acts 2.1-21 with Romans 8.22-27 and Ezekiel 37.1-14
Audio file
Prepared notes below

The gift of tongues and the gift of hearingPentecost, often focused on the extraordinary gift of speaking in other languages, the gift of "tongues". But there is another miracle in the story, and the main miracle – from the perspective of the people in town on that day – was that they HEARD "each of us, in our own native language" (Acts 2.8). They HEARD "them speaking about God’s deeds of power" (2.11). When you study Communication 101, Intro to Speech, you learn that for communication to actually take place, there needs to be both speaker and hearer.

Today, I want us to focus on this gift of the Spirit – the gift of hearing. And, to clarify, this is not about the physical act of hearing. Sometimes we protest, when someone repeats themselves, "I heard you". That protest is the surest sign that we were not actually listening, not "hearing" with attention.

The work of interpretation"What does this mean?" (2.12, see also 1 Corinthians 12.10)
Interpretation: how we allow the word to ENTER us

How we prevent entry:
Discount – "They are filled with new wine" (2.13)
Use of sarcasm, "explain away" ... means less than (discount) or means nothing Literalism – "I’m not running, I’m jogging"
Eugene Peterson – how kids avoid obedience (Q Sessions 2012, "Practices") Familiarity "Breeds contempt"

interpret, not just for language, but for life
incomplete text, unclear speech
non-verbal cues – motive, emotion
weather indicators/predictors – humidity, wind, joint pain
stories and life events – guess what happens next; identify signs

interpret the event of Pentecost itself
Peter interprets the event for the people
and does so with Spirit & Scripture

The gift of the SpiritEzekiel 37.1-14
"O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD" (37.4)
"I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live" (37.5)
"The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2Co 3.6)

Inspiration - Interpretation linked (inspiration = God-breathed)
Life of God –> Word –> My Life
"No one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2.11)

"I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh" (Acts 2.17, citing Joel)

"Repent, and be baptized ... and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (2.38)

God hears us:"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (2.21)

God prays for us:"That very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words" (Ro 8.26)

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