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Bible Study May 26th

 

 

Due to our practice of social distancing during this time, we are not gathering for our weekly Bible Study Class, and are offering to you these guided reflection questions for your private meditations with God’s Word. Enjoy.

 

 

INVITATION
Take some time to be in a quiet place. Read Acts 2:1-21. Reflect on these questions of the text.

CONTEXT
Having done a study of a variety of psalms these past weeks, we shift now to the text for this Sunday which is Pentecost. Our reading of Acts 2:1-21 tells the story of what I like to refer to as “the birthday of the church.” The Book of Acts in the New Testament called “The Acts of the Apostles” and could easily be called, “The Acts of the Holy Spirit.” It is written by the same author of Luke and composed sometime near 62 CE. In this chapter we see the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the first followers of Christ which enlivens the church to be sent out from their neighborhoods of origin and begin to minister to a wider world. The experience of the coming of the Spirit is that while everyone is from such different places and cultures, they all understand the gift of the Lord’s redeeming love. Peter gets up to preach from the prophet Joel and turns that ancient warning of a dark day into the first sermon to Christ’s church in the world saying: what was is ending, and what is to come is beginning now.

TEXTS & REFLECTIONS
V.1. When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
Pentecost, or fifty days, came at the Spring Harvest Festival. How can we celebrate coming together again?

V.3. Divided tongues, as of fire, rested on each, all were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak.
When have you ever burned with the desire to speak your truth to others? What makes your light go on?

V.5. Now there were devout Jews from every nation asking “How is it we hear each in our own language?”
Faith compels us and empowers us to deeply listen to each other. What are others trying to tell you?

V.12. All were amazed and perplexed saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
A crisis is avoided, diminished, and ended with good communication. What does COVID-19 tell us?

V.17. In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.
Peter turns the tables on a warning of destruction into the beginning of a new time. Is that apt for today?

V.17. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young and old shall see visions and dream dreams.
Is this public health crisis something that will be resolved by all ages re-imagining a new life together?

V.18. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit and they shall prophesy.
Slaves, servants, the poor, the destitute suffer the most from a pandemic. What are they telling us?

V.19. I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, fire, and smoky mist.
What of the climate conversation during this pandemic? Is this time a clue to our response to all challenges?

V.20-21. The Lord’s great and glorious day…Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Does God have a great day in the middle of this health crisis? Look at those calling out in the name of love.

PRAYER
Lord of power and love, pour out your Spirit in us to dream together of a whole new way to be with you. Amen.