May 1, 2012 Volume 26, Number 05
Speaking God's deeds of power
By Kelly Rempel | Managing Editor
Communication is not easy. Just ask any immigrant. English is a befuddling language even to those of us who should know it best. Their, there, they're, to, too, two? It's like a Dr. Seuss book gone bad sometimes. It's so easy to lookand feelsilly. Ashamed. Discouraged.
Getting a message across when we don't know what to say, or how to say it, can be downright frustrating.
So I imagine it must have come as quite a shock for those people in a crowded Jerusalem square some 2,000 years ago when a fellowone of those followers of the recently murdered and reportedly risen Jesussuddenly stood up after a major windstorm to share a most incredible story.
Everyone, no matter where they were from, understood. He spoke their language. And their neighbours' languages. At once. Some made fun of him. But most were awestruck.
"'In our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power.' All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, 'What does this mean?'" (Acts 2:11-12 NRSV).
What does this mean? It means, people, get ready to have your lives radically changed! The Holy Spirit has come, and He has a mission for you…repent! Be baptized! And spread the news about God's great love far and wide. The message is clear.
Those first hours after Pentecostthe birth of the Churchmust have been amazing. More amazing yet is that two millennia later, Jesus is still calling people to Himself. Still pouring out His Spirit on His people to do incredible things for the Kingdom. Still gifting His people in all sorts of ways to communicate the message. And it isn't necessarily with words.
This issue of ChristianWeek showcases some of God's message-bearers. Sculptor Tim Schmalz turns lumps of clay into biblical works of art. Playwright Dennis Hassel brings God's story to stage The Big Picture, a riveting two-hour overview of the Bible from start to finish. A mom takes unwanted items and turns them into creations that benefit struggling women in Africa.
Students are discovering what it means to live radical lives for God as they immerse themselves in experiences offered at discipleship training schools. In Lebanon and Syria, Mennonite Central Committee is helping people work toward peace and community building.
Oh yes, God's Spirit is still active! The question is: what will you do? With whom will you share the good news? What is your language?
I am so encouraged by the stories we can share with you through ChristianWeek. It is a privilege to also be one of God's message-bearers. Thank you for helping to make it possible. Thank you for helping us to "speak about God's deeds of power," both now and in the years to come.
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