A dramatic retelling of the events of Pentecost, for two voices
It was Pentecost – the Feast of Weeks - fifty days after Passover, so Jerusalem was bustling – full of people come to make their offering of first-fruits as thanks to God for bringing us home after years of wandering in the wilderness. And I was there too.
We were all together, us disciples, inside away from the crowds, when suddenly the whole house was filled with the sound of rushing wind. It was terrifying. Shocking. Violent. And then there was fire ... flames flickering above our heads, a tongue of flame hovering above each of us like a shimmering bird.
And then it was as if the fire that breathed above us suddenly blazed within us. God’s Holy Spirit lived in us and moved in us and we found ourselves filled with new and sudden knowledge. I began to speak. We all did. Every language under heaven came pouring out of our mouths. We rushed outside.
All around us people were staring open-mouthed. But if you think they were shocked, it was nothing to what we were feeling. Suddenly I was a linguist and not only that, I knew what to say. All this power – God’s power – was pouring through me. I threw my arms in the air and I laughed with the wonder of it. No wonder people thought that we were drunk.
That’s what I thought. Disgraceful, I thought, totally blotto at this time in a morning. Shouting, waving their arms about, fighting drunk, I thought and I decided to give them a wide berth. But then, out of the jumble of sounds they were making I caught a phrase, 'God’s deeds of power', and I stared. It was in my language. My own language. I’m from Cyrene and since when did Galileans speak my language?
There were Parthians in the crowd and Elamites, Mesopotamians, Egyptians – you get the picture – the world and his wife were there. And these men, these country bumpkin Jews from the sticks of Galilee were speaking to all of them. In their own languages. It was amazing. I mean, since when did uneducated men like that get to be experts in dozens of languages? But they weren’t drunk – I realized that – well, not drunk on wine at any rate.
The crowd were pretty stirred up by what we were doing and that’s when Peter spoke, reciting the prophesy of Joel:
'In the last days, God declares, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show signs in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.
Then everyone ...
First voice: Everyone
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.