2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
2:5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.
2:6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.
2:7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
2:8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?
This Sunday we celebrate one of the most important moments in Christian history: the coming of the Holy Spirit to help the early believers spread the Gospel. And when we read this story, it's easy to simply stop at the part of the story that talks about tongues of flames and the ability to speak different languages. But perhaps the most important part of the story is the fact that the languages that the people were able to speak allowed them to be understood by people who they would not have been able to communicate.
Beyond the strange and miraculous events, the overall message of the story seems clear: The gift of the Holy Spirit is meant to enable believers to share God's story with others. We're often not great communicators. We get frustrated with people who think differently than we do. We want others to "just understand!"
On Pentecost Sunday, we remember that God enables us to meet people where they are so that we might share the loving message that has been shared with us. A joyful Pentecost to us all!