The Day of Pentecost was not about speaking suddenly in different tongues. It was about being able to hear in a new way – and understand across differences. Like birth, our most difficult moments are often just before the wonderful joy, release, and discovery of how God has worked in our midst. Just when voices are most confusing, contentious, or depressing is when we must listen intently. We may be right at the moment of Spirit-led understanding! The important voice in our midst may be hard to discern because sometimes it whispers rather than shouts – speaking difficult words, or calling us to work which seems impossible or unpleasant. It is also the voice which asks us to play and rejoice like children, loving one another simply and wholly.
It is the voice of God. God did not stop speaking when a small group of people decided that the Bible was “finished.” To this day, God finds new ways to be heard. When we truly hear God’s voice – hear it speaking to us in new ways, languages we did not expect but are open enough to understand – then we will live in a new way, and others will see and feel it. We will take down assumptions which insulate us and become one larger body with those around us. Remember the Pentecost fire? We must have fire within us to live differently and step outside our comfort zones. God’s realm of peace and justice, of shalom, of wholeness, does not come easily. God asks us to do uncomfortable things – radically uncomfortable things, like Jesus did. Hang out with the “wrong” people, the despised, the dubious. Challenge authority. Justice demands of us a fire in the gut, and the understanding that turning our backs, hunkering down and living in the same silos we have always inhabited with people who are just like us … is neither permissible, nor possible. Hear the voices. Blessings,