Today is Pentecost Sunday, when we commemorate the remarkable event that kickstarted the early Christian church. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on a gathering of Christians and vividly demonstrated that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was meant for all people, regardless of nationality or ethnicity.
The full account is found in Acts 2:1-31. Here’s the key part of the passage:
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”
The Pentecost account is one of the core passages upon which the Christian vision for missions and evangelism is built. God was doing something extraordinary in opening his offer of salvation to the entire world. It’s a truth we still need to be reminded of today; The Gospel Coalition’s prayer for Pentecost Sunday describes a modern Christian’s response to this remarkable event.
Take a few minutes today to read the Pentecost story and give thanks that God’s grace isn’t limited by the linguistic, geographic, or ethnic boundaries!