Have you ever been asked to do something that you didn't understand? Tell that story.
Pray, Wait, Power!
They must have wondered, “What are we going to do after the Spirit arrives? Can’t we just go do that now and not worry about praying all day?”
You remember when Noah and his family got into the ark. How many days were they shut in without rain? Imagine how that felt - all the people outside laughing and throwing rotten vegetables at the side of the ark. This time it wasn’t a seven day wait. It was ten!
And they didn’t stay hidden inside. Each morning, they went to church to worship God. Then they walked back to their prayer room. The city was filled with people from many places there to celebrate the Harvest Festival. As they walked, imagine the people’s questions, “Where’s Jesus? What happened to Him? Where are you guys going, anyway? Into your little room to cry?”
For 10 days they went in and out. Worship. Pray. Worship. Pray. Worship. Pray. Just like Jesus said. Waiting for the Holy Spirit. Waiting for the power Jesus promised. Waiting to do the ‘next thing’ that Jesus had planned for them.
And then a storm, or a huge wind, or something, blew through Jerusalem. It sounded like a roaring fire ripping through the sky, and it blew toward that little house of prayer. And when the Wind got there, it separated into little tiny fires and landed on each praying person. Like the Dove that landed on Jesus as He prayed, a flame rested on each of His followers. They weren’t burnt, but they were changed!
They started talking many different languages. The people in the city - attracted by the noise of the rushing wind hurried to the little house. People who had been nearby told everyone about the tiny ‘tongues of fire’ that had seemed to settle into or onto each person. Out of the house, the followers of Jesus came, shouting in languages from near and far.
“They’re drunk!” people laughed.
“But, wait,” as they listened, they heard, “That person over there is speaking my home language!” And they migrated to the person speaking their own tongue. And they listened as Jesus’ ‘next thing’ began happening. In a language they knew and loved, they each heard the story of a God who knew and loved them. And sent His Son to save them from death.
And they believed! Thousands of them. And the Spirit fire took shape in each of their hearts as they were baptised and followed Jesus.
The Acts of the Apostles, 49-51