Day 30: What Does This Mean?

I believe in the Holy Spirit.


Acts 2:1–12

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”


In Genesis 11 we see the human race conspiring together to build a tower reaching to heaven to “make a name for ourselves.” In response, God “came down,” confused their language, and scattered them across the face of the earth. Now, note who is in the room on the day of Pentecost. The scattered are gathered, and God comes down, but the Spirit does not reorder the world

by the restoration of a single language, he does it through the proclamation of one gospel, through the diversity of many languages.

It could have gone the other way. If the Spirit can cause uneducated men to speak in a multiplicity of foreign languages, he could have easily caused all the people to miraculously understand the message in a single language. Ponder the implications of this. What does this say about unity and diversity? What does this say about God’s way of “loving the world?” What’s the big idea here and what difference does it make in your own life?


If, then, the Holy Spirit is truly, and not in name only, called Divine both by Scripture and by our Fathers, what ground is left for those who oppose the glory of the Spirit? He is Divine, and absolutely good, and Omnipotent, and wise, and glorious, and eternal; He is everything of this kind that can be named to raise our thoughts to the grandeur of His being.

—From On the Holy Spirit
Gregory of Nyssa


Express your questions, doubts, curiosities, and conundrums.


Write any fresh affirmation stirring in your heart and mind from today.

Now affirm the Apostles’ Creed aloud:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord . . .