Filled with the Spirit

Sunday, June 8

11-16By Art Smith, Council of Twelve Apostles

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

—Acts 2:4 NRSV

I praise God and give thanks for those who, as the Spirit has given them ability, have begun to speak in other languages. I’m grateful to have grown up in the national capital region of Canada, an officially bilingual country. It was normal for people to speak at least the two official languages.

My assignment to Latin America in 2004 made it necessary and natural to begin to learn Spanish and Portuguese. I needed the ability to communicate with my brothers and sisters in that field. It has been such a blessing in my life to communicate directly with people of different cultures, countries, and language groups. I am always happy when World Service Corps candidates send applications that show preparation through study of another language.

Several Spanish-speaking, young-adult volunteers have blessed us with their ministry in the Central and South America Mission Field. I always encourage young Community of Christ members to consider studying languages in school. The Holy Spirit uses this gift for sharing gospel blessings between cultures.

Prayer for Peace God of many lands and people, help us expand our understanding of and ministry to lands far and near. May we embrace offerings of ministry from our neighbors nearby and far away. Help us see other languages as opportunities for learning and not as barriers. Help us speak Christ’s language of peace.

Spiritual Practice: The International Community Find (or imagine) a globe or map of the world. Look at all the nations and find a country other than your own. Notice the geographic distance between your homeland and this one. Picture a person living there. Pray for this person. Sense God’s love connecting you just as the oceans connect the continents. Thank God for the spiritual connection you have with all of God’s people around the globe. Ask a blessing on the church as a community sharing Christ’s peace, drawing all into the family of God.

Peace Covenant Today, God, in another language I will learn to say, “Le aprecio y su cultura también” (I appreciate you and your culture).

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