"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Acts 2:1-21; Philippians 4:4-7 Commentary
by Audrey West
Divided tongues like fire!? Violent, howling wind!? It is one thing to receive a promise, quite another to be thrust into the midst of its fulfillment.
There they are that small band of believers who constitute the earliest community of Jesus. With a head count of 120 (Acts 1:15), they comprise ten times the number of the original Apostles, but still not a large assembly whether by ancient or modern standards. (Small churches, take heart!).
They are in Jerusalem for Pentecost, the Jewish Feast of Weeks (Shavuot). Falling fifty days after Passover, this is a festival of thanksgiving for the grain harvest (e.g., Exodus 34:22; Leviticus 23:15-21; Deuteronomy 16:9-12) as well as a celebration of God’s covenant handed down at Sinai. It is a day for recalling the powerful, gracious, life-giving presence of God
Gathered “all together in one place” (Acts 2:1), those first followers have no clue what is about to happen among them. To be sure, there is Jesus’ promise that they will testify about him “in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8; cf. Luke 11:13; 24:4). But that ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 135: Pentecost - Rejoice in the Lord
June 08, 2014
Join Profs. Eric Barreto, Cameron Howard, and Rolf Jacobson for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers the text for June 8, 2014: Acts 2:1-21 and Philippians 4:4-7. Accompanying reading: John 14:16-17.