This Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost, when we remember, celebrate, and re-engage with the first giving of the Spirit at Pentecost as recounted in Acts 2, and the lectionary reading in this Year A is, as every year, Acts 2.1–21. Although it is a comparatively long reading, in one sense it is not long enough, since we do not hear the whole of Peter’s speech, nor do we hear the response to it!
With any of these annual celebrations, we are always confronted with the question of whether there is anything fresh to say. Commentators note that this is one of the most pored over passages in the whole New Testament—and in fact it is laden with theological significance in just about every verse. Why is the Spirit a sign of the end times? Why are there 17 groups listed by Luke from around the known world? And how does the Spirit equip God’s people for mission?
In the weekly video recorded last year, James and Ian discuss all these issues, including questions about how we preach and teach on this passage. For a full discussion, see the earlier article here.