Some of us get caught up in the details of this narrative. We ponder over the facts and have serious doubts about what really happened. I believe this misses the truth which underlies the story. It wasn’t that the disciples were given a language necessarily – it was that they were given the power of speech. To be more accurate, they were given the power of proclamation. No more hiding for this group. The word was to be proclaimed to all the corners of the earth. This harkens back directly to Jesus in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…”
It is my prayer and my hope that each and every person in the church today could receive this same power. The forces of our society are very effective in suppressing our proclamations. But it is the Spirit that gives us strength. All we have to do is accept the Spirit into our lives. It’s all too easy to say that the Spirit has not acted upon us – denying that God is actually at work in each and every person. It’s easy to stand on the outside and say, “They’re just drunk.”
Proclamation can be done in lots of ways – by word or by action. So what will you say to the Spirit that acts in you? Or are you just going to stand on the outside and sneer?