Series: The Mvmnt
Message: The Holy Spirit at Pentecost
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Reflection: Japhet De Oliveira
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Purpose: Jessyka Albert
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin today in prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Acts 1:12–2:21 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Two very distinct memories help me appreciate just a little bit more the miracle of Acts 2, when the disciples felt the result of the Holy Spirit for the first time. The first was when I was 19. I was in Macau, China. At that time, it was still governed by the Portuguese. (It returned to Chinese ownership in 1999.) My move to Macau was, for all intents and purposes, permanent. I was immigrating to China. My family had sold or given everything away back home in England. I was going to finish off my theological studies at the Adventist college in Hong Kong and visit my parents as often as possible as they worked as missionaries in Macau. Settling into another culture was incredibly complicated. The fact that this other culture did not use English made it even more disorienting. During my first week in the country, I saw two nuns from the USA and overheard them speaking English. Creepy as it may sound, I followed them all over town, simply listening to them speak English. The language was music to my ears. These were my people.
A little preface is need for the second incident; in particular a little parental ethnic heritage clarification will provide some context. While I was born in England, my mother is from a French-speaking island called Mauritius and my father is from the Portuguese-speaking country of Brazil. If memory serves me correctly, I was 31 when I visited Brazil as an adult for the very first time. I was there to attend a conference for youth ministry professionals organized by the Church. I was surrounded by people from all over the world, listening to different languages and experiencing their unique rhythms and sounds. While my father had spoken Portuguese to me as a child and I had a pretty fluent comprehension of the language, I did not live daily in that community. On the second day of the conference, we had a break and I walked into the downtown area of the city. It was in that moment, as I heard life expressed freely and rapidly in Brazilian Portuguese, that I sensed a deep connection. These were my people.
The Holy Spirit arrived on the day of Pentecost and touched the apostles (Acts 2). When they preached in their own language, their words were translated into the native languages of the listeners. There was a deep connection. It was music to their ears. These are our people, they marveled. And the story continued . . .
Recalibrate: Beyond language, what are some other ways we can translate the Gospel?
Respond: Pray for a practical way to make the Gospel music to someone else’s ears.
Research: What are the best cross-cultural missionary principles? (1 Cor. 9:20–22)
Jesus let me be Your hands, feet and words in the spaces that I move in. Wiggle your fingers and toes! God gave us hands and feet so that we can be His followers and help others.
Keeping your eyes on the leader. This is the key to a good game of follow the leader. How can we do this following Jesus when He was here on earth such a long time ago? Do you have leaders that you can see are good followers of Jesus? How can you tell that they are following Jesus?
Why do you think the people confused being filled with Holy Spirit with being drunk? The people wanted to give some explanation for what was happening. Have you ever tried to explain something as coincidence or luck rather than giving credit to God?