Daily Reflections

Reflecting on Acts 2:1-4


Held 50 days after Passover, Pentecost was also called the Festival of Weeks. It was one of the three major annual festivals, a festival of thanksgiving for the harvested crops. Jesus was crucified at Passover time, and he ascended 40 days after his resurrection. The Holy Spirit came 50 days after his resurrection and 10 days after his ascension. Jews of many nations had gathered in Jerusalem for this festival. Thus, Peter’s speech was given to an international audience, and it resulted in a worldwide harvest of new believers, the first converts to Christianity who had not followed Jesus during his earthly life.

Tongues of fire was the fulfilment of John the Baptist’s words about the Holy Spirit’s baptizing with fire and of prophet Joel’s words about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Why tongues of Fire? Fire symbolizes God’s purifying presence, which burns away the undesirable elements of our lives and sets our hearts aflame to ignite the lives of others. On mount Sinai, God confirmed that validity of the Old Testament law with fire from heaven. On mount Carmel, God sent fire from heaven to burn up Elija’s sacrifice, signifying God’s consuming power. At Pentecost, God confirmed the validity of the Holy Spirit’s ministry by sending fire.

God made his presence known to this group of believers in a spectacular way, a violent wind, fire, and his Holy Spirit.

Meditation Prompt:

Would you like God to reveal himself to you in such recognizable ways?

He may do so but be wary of forcing your expectations on God. In 1 Kings 19:10-13, Elija also needed a message from God. First came a great wind, then an earthquake, and finally a fire. But God’s message came in a gentle whisper. God may use dramatic methods to work in your life, or he may speak in gentle whispers.

Wait patiently and always listen… Quiet your mind, and just be still with God…