Sunday, 8 June 2014

On All People

There's a challenge, there. The people of Cappadocia, Pamphylia, Cyrene and so on have all come up to Jerusalem, to come to the Temple. The one place, Moses said, that one could make sacrifices. The place where the whole world came, to hear the ancient liturgy expressed in ancient tongues. And the disciples, outside the Temple precincts, yell out God's glory and everybody understands.

When the Spirit brooded on the waters, nothing could tie her down then. She watched and order formed on dark chaos. When God decided who should have his Spirit, it happened - regardless of class or priestly or otherwise role. And now, says Peter, the Spirit is poured out on all people, and instead of being a barrier and a curse, the languages of the world are vehicles to praise God in many different ways. Jesus the Jew has become the Saviour of all.

And down the centuries, the different languages of praise are poured out, and the Spirit cannot be confined to one - not Hebrew or Aramaic, not Greek or Latin. Not even 17th Century English. All languages are blessed for worship, because the Spirit is poured out on all people.

Same today. We can't trap the Spirit within our structures. We can't cage the Spirit - no bars would be strong enough for the dove who soars like an eagle, and tears human constructions apart. Not in the logic of the Enlightenment, not in the language of Western politeness, not in the denunciations of true believers. The Spirit is poured out on all people. And flies freely across the world.

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