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  • Wayne Chasney

So Much Noise

Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?” (Acts 2:7-8)


              People seem fascinated by this ‘miracle’ of the disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit, able to speak and be heard in a whole host of languages. By way of explanation, I have heard people say that they weren’t speaking in other languages, but rather people were hearing in their own native tongue. Some have suggested the disciples actually knew other languages, which is not likely. My favorite explanation is from the onlookers themselves, as recorded in Acts, who simply thought they were drunk. If only a few shots of bourbon could make me fluent in German.

              As you probably know, I am not one to try to explain everything that happens in the Bible. They are stories, and how they happened or even if they happened takes a back seat to what the story can teach me.

              I have a hard time hearing if I am in a busy room with lots of background noise. If I am talking to someone in a setting like that I really have to focus and listen hard and even them all the noise around gets in the way.

              To me, all these different languages represented in the story of Pentecost represents all that background noise that drowns out God’s Word for us. Imagine a crowd of all these peoples gathered in a busy city, talking in different languages, noise all around.

              By the power of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were able to cut through all that noise and be heard as they proclaimed God’s Word.

              Likewise, God’s Holy Spirit can train our ears to hear what God is saying to us. Somehow, God cuts through all the noise and makes God’s Word known. Rather than explain it away, or simply ignore it, our job is to hear and act. That’s how we become a Pentecost people.

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