Sunday, May 31, 2009

"There Came A Sound..."

"What if we're making a mistake?" Thomas kept his voice low to avoid disturbing the people praying across the room. "I just don't want to dishonor Jesus by getting in a hurry and not following his plan."

"Thomas, Thomas," said Bartholomew, "you have such hesitation in you! Jesus showed us during the forty days how to see our current events through the lens of the Scriptures. We are simply following His pattern. Besides, the decision is made. Matthias is obviously the Eternal's choice to replace Iscariot."

A few feet away, some of the other apostles were deep in prayer. Several of the women had gathered in a little circle and were fervently asking the Mighty God to show Himself by revealing the Helper -- the promised Advocate. Still others had stepped out into the morning air to stretch their legs, cramped from long hours on their knees and on their faces. It had been like this for ten days since Jesus -- Messiah -- had disappeared into the clouds. He told them to wait and pray for the promise to be fulfilled. How long would it be?

The streets outside were beginning to fill with locals and guests alike. The first fruits were being brought in abundance for this year's Pentecost. The crowd seem larger than normal, with people having formed caravans from faraway Mesopotamia. A large contingent of people had come from Libya. They had been joined by scores of dark-skinned travelers from far south in Ethiopia. A large ship had arrived from Rome and almost all the passengers were here for Pentecost. If you stood in the shade near the temple, you could hear every conceivable language as people walked by.

Peter stood and asked all those in the room to give him attention for a few minutes. "Friends, we know that Jesus made a promise to us. We don't know the hour or the day when that promise will be fulfilled, but I wanted to encourage you to hold on in prayer. I carry with me the sadness I felt that night in Gethsemane when James, John and I kept falling asleep -- Jesus seemed so lonely when he asked if we couldn't just tarry with him for an hour. I also know the shame of failing our Lord that same night after his arrest. Therefore, I ask you again to simply keep waiting, watching and praying."

The noise of footsteps on the stairs caused them all to turn to the door to see who would enter. As about six or seven came walking in, it was clear that others were close behind them. In just a few minutes they counted and all 120 of them were in the room at the same time. Most of them had been here for all their waking hours each day, but it was common for a few to be away at a given moment. Here they were together.

They all sensed a sudden urgency to pray and began lifting their voices as one. With new fervor they cried out to the Eternal to send the Promised One.

Then...the sound seemed out of place! The sky that morning had been clear and the air was calm. It looked to be a beautiful day. Where was this storm coming from? The noise was intensifying quickly. They began to look at the ceiling because they were afraid the roof was blowing off. The air, however was perfectly still!

Suddenly a little cry escaped from the lips of one of the women. "Look!" One by one, it was as if tongues of fire had rested on every person's head! Their eyes were wide with wonder and someone opened his mouth to say something. He was speaking a language he didn't know!

To my readers: I was surprised at the joy I received from writing some of my own thoughts about events surrounding Holy Week this year. Some of you encouraged me to come back at the time of Christ's Ascension and continue the project. It is my prayer that these words will serve to enhance your appetite for more of the history from Scripture itself.

1 comment:

C. Beth said...

You really captured the anxiety, desire, and excitement of that day in a way I haven't seen before! Thanks!