It’s the churches birthday! It can be tempting to rush to the good bit of this story where there are tongues of fire and the gift of tongues. However, we must start with Jesus’s words to his disciples; otherwise the events would have made no sense to the believers.
This retold version of the Bible passage is supplied for inspiration, feel free to omit or embellish to give it your personal voice.
Main Passage : Acts 2
Jesus had left. The apostles gathered every day in Jerusalem, waiting. Jesus had told them to wait.
Day one: They were stunned, sitting around excited and confused.
Day two: They started whispering, wondering, what was the Father’s promise, what was the Holy Spirit, that Jesus had said would come.
Day three, then day four: People returned to work. Meals were cooked. Life continued, but the disciples waited. They knew it would be something special.
Day five, then day six: People started to prepare for the upcoming feast.
The Shavuot feast was a chance to celebrate the harvest. It happened seven weeks after Passover, 50 days, and so it was sometimes called Pentecost.
Day ten: Pentecost came. Slowly, the rooms the disciples were in grew fuller and fuller as everyone came to spend the celebration with the apostles. Outside, people rushed back and forth. Many had stayed in Jerusalem since Passover for this day.
It was nine in the morning when the talk in the rooms was silenced by a loud noise. It was the sound of a rushing wind filling the house. The disciples looked around confused. Was this what they had been waiting for? Alongside the wind came flames that seemed to float in the air around them. The flames slowly rested above each of the disciples’ heads, and someone at the edge of the room breathed a quiet “Hallelujah!”
Suddenly everyone realised what was happening. This was God. This was God gifting them, each and every one of them, from Peter the Rock to the forgotten faces. This was what Jesus had told them to wait for, and they couldn’t hold back the praise any longer. They opened their mouths, and the noise was amazing; words of praise to God filled the air. Words they knew well and words in languages they didn’t know they could speak as God gifted them.
The doors flung open, and those passing by were astounded to see a crowd and hear their own languages spoken. “How is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?” they asked. “What does this mean?”
Peter stood up and quietened the crowd. He told them about Jesus. He told them about the gift God had given them of the Holy Spirit. Many joined the believers that day, and the church was born.