Acts 2:16-18

“It’s time for some out-of-the-box thinking,” Peter must realize as he clears his throat, raises his voice, and addresses a crowd described as bewildered (v. 6), amazed (vv. 7, 12), astonished (v. 7), and perplexed (v. 12). He draws on Joel’s vision to describe the new way God will speak in this new era that has dawned. God will speak through the most unlikely people, including youth, the elderly, women, and the enslaved. This means God will communicate through marginalized, unempowered segments of the population. Those the people usually hear from, the free and able-bodied men, are left off the list. 

What does this say about God’s out-of-the-box thinking? Perhaps it says that while ancient Israel assigned the right to speak for God almost exclusively to one small group of powerholders, no one group can represent the fullness of God. Those who try to contain God find God pushing people to see a bigger view of who God is. 

Despite Joel’s vision, humanity still tries to limit God. How often do we restrict the list of those whom we believe God will speak through? While God equips women to preach the gospel, even churches that know this is true proclaim their congregations are “just not ready” to have a woman lead them. Sunday mornings continue to be a deeply segregated time in America as we struggle with our racial, cultural, and stylistic differences. 

Peter says that God will do the choosing when it comes to speaking through messengers. We must stop trying to put God’s Spirit in a box. The Spirit will move like the wind of Pentecost, and blow that box right open. Let’s be people who follow the Spirit, not confine it. 

Consider

How do you try to limit God? How might God’s Spirit be leading you toward new ways of thinking?

Pray

God, you are more vast than I can imagine. Forgive me for trying to limit you. Open my ears to hear the different voices that help me know you more fully. Amen.



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