Families come in all shapes, forms, and sizes, don’t they? And families have different traditions. Some made sense, and others you just went along with. I can remember as a child, whenever a major storm was in our area, my mother would make us all gather in the same room. That’s a family of five, huddled together in one room. With the lights out. My brothers and I hated it!
For one thing, if you’ve ever been locked up with two sweaty boys it leaves a lasting impression on you. Not only that, but it made the event seem so important, and kinda scary because the reason we had gathered together was in case lightning struck. I used to wonder, what if it hit the room we’re in? But nobody asked about that.
Well, imagine Peter and the disciples (brothers in Christ) being in the upper room, all together…
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.”
Acts 2:1-4, NRSV
There they were, gathered together, and all of a sudden - lightning struck! The Holy Spirit swooped in like tongues of fire and filled these men with power! So much power that they were able to speak in languages that they had not even learned.
This family of Jesus that had been jockeying for position, not getting the point of the parables, terrified of a storm, and MIA at the cross; this family of deniers, liars, and cowards, are suddenly united by the power of the Holy Spirit! Remember, last week was the setup. Jesus told the disciples to wait for the promise and you will receive power from the Holy Spirit.
This week is the delivery, the punchline. This was Jesus’ fulfillment of the promise. The celebration of Pentecost. Not the physical Pentecost, but a spiritual Pentecost. The disciples were united like never before. And it made a difference in the world. People from all over were able to understand what was being said because the disciples were speaking language, in their native tongue. How could that be?
The only way that a family can truly be united is through the power of the Holy Spirit. Parents, if you think your kids are speaking a foreign language - or kids, if you think your parents are from outer space – you need to join us this Sunday for worship and see how we can be united in the midst of our diversity.
This is part of our Family Conversations series: A Family United. To register for indoor worship, you can sign up at: https://rsvp.church/r/gVufUAP4 . You can also join us online at 10:00am. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
As our reopening team assesses what the new CDC recommendations mean for us, we are asking that you continue to mask on this Sunday. I know, I’m tired of wearing masks, too. But the power of Pentecost is in our unity. A family united!