onsdag 4. mai 2016

"Tongues" of fire

"What is your mother-tongue?"
This is how an English-speaking person will ask when he wants to know what my native language is. In many countries, “tongue” is synonymous with language - including Russian. A person who speaks several languages is called a polyglot. It comes from the Greek and is composed of ‘poly’ = many and ‘glossa’ = tongues.

In the Pentecost-narrative we read:

They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
Acts 2:3
Normally the "fire" gets the most of our attention, and I will focus on the fire later, but I think it's very exciting that it comes in the form and shape of "tongues". It immediately associates with the Prologue of John’s gospel: the Word became flesh. The Holy Spirit comes and becomes "human" through those who believe.

It is also interesting to reflect on the separation of the tongue. Originally there was one tongue, but it separated and descended on the individuals. It is still the same Spirit. This allows for multiple interpretations:

  1. The Holy Spirit gives an individual experience
  2. The individuality is emphasized by the fact that the apostles spoke different tongues
  3. That one tongue can divide and turn into many tongues, can also be a signal that it can gather again in one tongue, in one language that everyone understands - in other words: the Holy Spirit erases the curse of Babel. The language of the Spirit is something that can be understood independently of our earthly languagebackgrounds, because it is the language of love.
I have experienced it myself in relation to other Christians. Although we share a human language, there is a kind of “language of unity in the Spirit” creating a special “peace” between us. Perhaps that is why the "dove" is the symbol for both the Holy Spirit and peace?

The Holy Spirit helps me to understand other people through a common spiritual language, a language of love.

'Manna' for today:
The Holy Spirit helps me to understand others through the "language of the Spirit"
This reflection is part of 'Who acts throug Acts?'

Ingen kommentarer: