The People of Pentecost: Unity and Redemption

God has approached the people of Israel with a new worldview on their purpose in the scheme of global history. God expected the people of Israel to take this message to the world. But as we know they didn’t always get it right. In fact the story of the Tower Babel is one such story of how the people lost the plot with this new message that had universal implications. There is one Jewish midrash that tells the story of a conversation between two people during that time in history who chose to be defiant towards God because they like where they were. Maybe we could learn from them on our journey towards God that safety/comfort leads us away from the Divine experience.

Now, if we fast forward a bit we run into a peculiar event known as Pentecost. According to the book of Acts it was a story where a large amount of people from different backgrounds (ethnical, geographical, linguistic) who came together and ‘experienced’ God together. The ancient Jews believed that the Holy Spirit was the act of God and man interacting rather than part of the Trinity. It was the experience between man and God that was the Holy Spirit. And so Pentecost is one such event if seen literally. And so maybe what we can learn from the event such as Pentecost is that it seems God desires all men, women, children, and creation to work/be together and as one. and that that event in and of itself brings the experience of God into reality. And maybe this story is also about the redemption of another story. Sometimes thats the purpose of story, redemption. By the Book of Acts it seem people might have been ready to move outside of their general comfort zones and this act brought another experience of God for them all. To the point that they understood each other, which could be a metaphor for harmony. for ‘being in one accord’. and so maybe what we all can learn is that God is a fan of us working together with one another (EX: social inclusion) and when we learn to see each other beyond our labels and assumptions it seems that God shows himself through that act. Its as if he approves community. but not just an exclusive approach to it, an inclusive approach that demonstrates his heart for the world rather than what seems, at times, to be his heart for a certain group of people. its as if in these two narratives that unity bring redemption. i hope and dream that one day we can learn from the people of pentecost.


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