Daily Devotional

Friday, August 31, 2018

Coming Together

In our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.     Acts 2:11

There are a lot of people and plenty of churches that claim to have unique access to God’s will, God’s Spirit, and God’s agenda. There continues to be a “we’re in, and you’re out” mentality in so many communities of faith. But how do we know whose side God is on? How can so many different groups of people claim special knowledge of God? Who is right?

On Pentecost, God’s Spirit was revealed in the unification of a diverse gathering of people. While the people were said to be “devout Jews,” they were from all over the world, and likely held diverse perspectives on faith. And yet somehow—miraculously—this group came together in the Spirit of God. They literally heard a group of Galileans speaking to them in their native languages. For a brief and holy moment, these disparate people found themselves on the same page. They were knit together by God’s Spirit.

When we want to see God at work, we need to look for people or organizations that bring people together in unity. If you claim special knowledge about God, then you should possess a particular gift for drawing diverse people together for a common and loving purpose. God’s Spirit is a Spirit of unity, not division. Therefore, where unity is found, you can be fairly certain God’s Spirit is there at work. Where division exists . . . God’s Spirit and presence is sorely needed.

Where do you witness the unifying power of God?

Lord, we live in a divisive age. Therefore, I must assume that somehow your Spirit is absent in the hateful and hurtful exchanges that shape much of our world. Help me to look for and participate in communities of unity. Help me to serve as a witness to your desire for your family to come together in loving embrace. Help me to usher your Spirit into the divisive places that exist in my life and in the world. Help us all to speak in tongues that are respectful of and intelligible to others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.