Reflections: Thursday of Pentecost Week

Today’s Reading: Acts 2:1-21

Daily Lectionary:Proverbs 8:1-21; John 12:36b-50

And they were bewildered. (Acts 2:6)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Bewilderment . . . what a fun word! Just rolls off the tongue. But if you’ve ever lived a day of life here on earth, you know that  bewilderment in reality isn’t much fun at all. To be bewildered, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, simply means to be confused.

There’s plenty to be confused about in our day. Teachers tell you this, your pastor and parents tell you that, and your friends via Twitter and Instagram, well, they say something different all together. That’s the world, and it’s been this way ever since the tongues were confounded at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). But it’s not just the words that describe everyday life that have gotten mixed up. The very Word of God left the people mentioned in Acts bewildered, too.

How could it be that all those people were speaking in languages that none of them had ever heard or spoken? Maybe the mockers WERE right in saying that the apostles were filled with new wine (Acts 2:13). Thankfully, Peter clarifies: Though the people who speak are filled with great joy, they’re not filled with wine but with the Spirit who has been poured out on all flesh (Acts 2:17). And if they have the Spirit then they also have what the explanation of the Third Article of the Creed promises: “The Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened us with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.” 

This explanation of Holy Baptism in the Small Catechism portrays Baptism not as just plain water, but “a life giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit.” What does this mean? There’s plenty to be bewildered about here in this fallen world and many times we are, but in Baptism the Lord has given you His Holy Spirit. He’s already yours, and you’re already His. He opens your ears to hear and your tongue to speak, even in the midst of bewilderment. It’s not a matter of understanding as much as it’s taking hold of the fact that Christ has covered you in Baptism and still sends the Holy Spirit today by preaching and the Word. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Lord God, into this bewildering world You are pleased to come. Into our bewildered hearts and minds You bring the great joy, not of new wine but of Your life-giving Word! So continue to send Your Spirit to keep us with the Church and Jesus Christ in the one true faith. Amen.

-Rev. Adam Degroot is pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho, NM.

Audio Reflections speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Come on an adventure with author Eric Eichinger as he unpacks the saga of Jesus’ Hero Journey. You’ll see how aspects of this journey are seen in popular stories, and how God used Jesus to create the most action-packed one with a real Savior for all. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.