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The Gift of Being Understood

Acts 2:6 (CEB) When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered. They were mystified because everyone heard them speaking in their native languages.

The Gift of Being Understood

Summary: The Holy Spirit is the gift of being understood.

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This Sunday is Pentecost. Pentecost is feast of the day the Holy Spirit was gifted. The Holy Spirit is about being understood and understanding. The Pentecost event focused on speaking with people who could not communicate with one another. On the day of Pentecost, we see that Jesus’s disciples were able to share their faith with others. Sharing faith is not just about preaching to people but creating a deep connection with others around deep mysteries. We share our faith because that is the deepest way to connect to others. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to be understood and to understand, thus creating deep connection. The Day of Pentecost is all about the Apostles being able to speak to people whom they could not usually connect. The Spirit gave them the ability to understand one another. It is really the gift of being known and understood. Pentecost is a day of miracles; the miracle of being known in our deepest place.

I was moved by this prayer by Jan Richardson in her book Circle of Grace. I hope it speaks to you about separation ceasing as it did me.

What the Fire Gives

You had thought that fire

only consumed,

only devoured,

only took for itself,

leaving merely ash

and memory

of something

you had believed,

if not permanent,

would be long enough,

enduring enough,

to be nearly


So when you felt

the scorching on your lips,

the searing on your heart,

you could not

at first believe

that flame could be

so generous,

that when it came to you-

you, in your sackcloth

and sorrow-

it did not come

to consume,

to take still more

than everything.

What surprised you most

were not the syllables

that spilled from

your scalded,

astonished mouth-

though that was a miracle


to have words

burn through

what had been numb,

to find your tongue

aflame with a language

you did not know

you knew-

no, what came

as greatest gift

was to be so heard

in the place

of you deepest


to be so seen

within the blazing,

to be met

with such completeness

by what the fire gives.

May you be filled with divine connection,

Pastor Anny+

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