Passover came and went, and then the Feast of Weeks. That day dawned the same as any other. They gathered together in one place to celebrate the harvest, as had been done every year since the time of Moses.
Suddenly, the whole air was filled with a sound like a hurricane, and yet not a leaf of a tree nor a hair of anyone’s head stirred. They looked at each other wide-eyed, some of them trembling with fear, everyone on high alert, no one sure what was happening. And then without warning flames appeared, licking above the heads of everyone present, and just stayed hovering above each one.
And to each one, something happened that they couldn’t exactly put into words. It was a transformation somehow akin to Jesus’s transfiguration on the mountain, except that it wasn’t their appearance that changed, but rather something deep in the essence of who they were.
Each one felt it, a newness of life, like a spring of water bubbling up within, and each one saw it in the inexpressible joy radiating from the faces of all the others. It was Jesus among them again, just not visible or tangible, and not only among them but within every one of them. Never again would they have to wait for him, as they had done these past forty days. From now on everywhere they went they would carry Him, His presence, with them.
Unable to contain themselves any longer, they raised their voices and began to overflow with joy and praise to God, and to their astonishment they found themselves doing so in other languages which they had never learned. It was as though they had to break out of the limitations of their own vocabulary, because what they were experiencing was beyond anything their own words could express.
And so they sat looking at each other in wonder and ecstasy, raising their voices and giving praise to God in strange languages as this Holy Spirit of Jesus overflowed out of them.