Sunday, May 31 Pentecost

Reader: “On the day of Pentecost”

Response: “all the believers were meeting together in one place.”

Scripture: Acts 2:1-13

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.

They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!”

They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.

But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!”

Reader: “The word of the Lord.”

Response: “Thanks be to God.”

Some thoughts:

You’ll recall that the Feast of Pentecost was one of three pilgrimage festivals which required every Jewish male to journey to the Temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. That explains why there were Jews present from all over the known world. (In the absence of today’s media, what better way to spread the gospel. In fact, people to people communication is still the most effective way on earth!) For the past ten days the disciples and a group of believers had remained in Jerusalem praying together daily in accordance with Jesus’ directive at his ascension. They were to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit that would come to dwell with them in Jesus’ absence. The believers were gathered when a violent supernatural wind from heaven came blowing through the room. Wind in Scripture often depicts the presence of the Spirit of God. The wind hovered over the waters at creation. Breath was breathed in man at creation and in the dry bones of Ezekiel’s day. The wind split the Red Sea. Elijah went to heaven in a whirlwind of fire. In talking with Nicodemus, Jesus referred to the Spirit as wind blowing where it will.  Fire and wind appear together again in this passage. This coming of the Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of John the Baptist’s words that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire, again, fire representing the presence of God. Whereas the presence of the Holy Spirit was given in measured degrees in the First Testament among various prophets, as we have mentioned previously, this was the first time it was given in full measure to all believers. With the gift of the Holy Spirit, came the power for the Galilean fishermen to speak in languages they had never learned. As has often been pointed out, this event is a kind of reversal of the events of the Tower of Babel, where the language was the unifying factor and the people’s great pride in themselves was the central focus. There God confused the languages so they could not understand each other and the people scattered over the face of the earth, destroying their prideful, man-centered unity. Now, people from those scattered countries thousands of years later hear the good news in their many languages that God has delivered people from their pride and sin, the very thing that caused them to be scattered in the first place! Though there were multiple very diverse languages being spoken, now the unifying factor of the people was the gospel! The unity of the whole of Scripture is undeniable. (This is one of the reasons it is so important to study the First Testament as well as the New Testament.) The areas mentioned would be the modern day regions of the Kurds, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Arab regions south and east of Israel, Egypt, Libya, islands in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and Rome. One of the central themes of the feast of Pentecost historically has been repentance. So it is no surprise that Peter’s sermon which follows this passage is on repentance, with the result being thousands of people became believers! And that same Holy Spirit continues to convert thousands of people in our day.

What a fitting way to conclude these past fifty days of time in God’s word. The ability to lead a Christian life in our own strength, determination, and self-reliance is not possible. Perfection is God’s standard, hence, we are doomed. God provided his Son to take our place on the perfection side of things as he accepted Jesus’ death in our condemned place as evidenced by the torn curtain. At Jesus’ departure he gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers to enable them to have the power to live the life to which we’ve been called. Our job? Obedience to his voice to become more and more like our Savior.

Music: “Cum Sancto Spiritu”    Vivaldi     National Chamber Choir of Armenia 


With the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

“Holy Spirit You are Welcome Here”     Amplified Praise

“Veni Sancte Spiritus”    from Lux Aeterna  Lauridsen  Schönhausen-Chor Krefeld, Germany


Veni, Sancte Spiritus,

Et emitte coelitus

Lucis tuae radium.

Veni, pater pauperum,

Veni, dator munerum,

Veni, lumen cordium.

Come, Holy Spirit,

Send forth from heaven

The ray of Thy light.

Come, father of the poor,

Come, giver of gifts,

Come, light of hearts.

Consolator optime,

Dulcis hospes animae,

Dulce refrigerium.

In labore requies,

In aestu temperies,

In fletu solatium.

Thou best of Consolers,

Sweet guest of the soul,

Sweet refreshment.

In labor, Thou art rest,

In heat, the tempering,

In grief, the consolation.

O lux beatissima,

Reple cordis intima

Tuorum fidelium.

Sine tuo numine,

Nihil est in homine,

Nihil est innoxium.

O Light most blessed,

Fill the inmost heart

Of all Thy faithful.

Without Thy grace,

There is nothing in us,

Nothing that is not harmful.

Lava quod est sordidum,

Riga quod est aridum,

Sana quod est saucium.

Flecte quod est rigidum,

Fove quod est frigidum,

Rege quod est devium.

Cleanse what is sordid,

Moisten what is arid,

Heal what is hurt.

Flex what is rigid,

Fire what is frigid,

Correct what goes astray.

Da tuis fidelibus

In te confitentibus,

Sacrum septenarium.

Da virtutis meritum,

Da salutis exitum,

Da perenne gaudium.

Grant to Thy faithful,

Those trusting in Thee,

Thy sacred seven-fold gifts.

Grant the reward of virtue,

Grant the deliverance of salvation,

Grant everlasting joy.


Almighty and most merciful Father, we have not used to your glory the gifts you bestowed in sending down the Holy Spirit upon your Church. We have not remained in the grace of the gospel. We have despised your holy word spoken to us by your prophets; we have disobeyed your commandments delivered to us by your apostles. We have not fulfilled the trust you committed to us, that we should call the ends of the earth to serve you, and gather for Christ your children scattered abroad. Hide your face, O Lord, from our sins, and blot out all our iniquities. Make our hearts clean, O God and renew a right spirit within us. Do not cast us away from your presence; take not your Holy Spirit from us. Make thy servants, O God, to be set on fire with thy Spirit, strengthened by thy power, illuminated by thy splendor, filed with thy grace, and to go forward by thine aid, and manfully having finished our course, may we be enabled happily to enter into thy kingdom. In the name of Jesus. Amen.    ―Prayers for Sunday Services, p.104


Thank you so much for subscribing and sharing these moments with the Lord these past days. It has truly been a joy in preparing these devotionals. My hope is that you have gained in your love for the Lord and have been drawn closer to him and at the same time grown in your knowledge of the Scriptures. I also hope you’ve been introduced to some new music or known music in new settings. In a few months I’ll most likely be working on next year’s Advent series. You may also receive some emails with some things to think about between now and then, but at any rate begin looking for Advent devotionals the first Sunday in Advent, November 29, 2020.   

The Lord be with you,


One more pieceof music. This is as beautiful music as you will hear.!

“Benedictus”   Karl Jenkins   (7:33 choir comes in at about 4 minutes in)

Text:  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!