FreerangeFriday: Pentecost is Coming! Can you Hear it?

by Lilly Lewin
pentecost greco

By Lilly Lewin

I’m sitting on my deck trying to type this post…I had to move inside because a cicada landed on me and wouldn’t go away…I’m not scared of them but I don’t like them crawling on my computer! And the loud noise of their friends and relations has caused my ears to ring!

Today is the noisiest day of the cicada invasion so far. The sun is out and it’s 80 degrees here in Nashville so the weather has all the bugs a buzzing. I think the second group of them might have emerged from their hibernation to add to the cacophony of sound. It’s most deafening ! Earlier today I was babysitting for my godson and while he napped I was attempting to read a book out on his back porch. His house backs up to a hillside of trees and these woods were filled with extremely noisy bugs! I only lasted 15 minutes before retreating inside to escape the racket!
Cicadas, large bugs that usually remind us of summer nights have chosen 2024 to do a double launch! According to CBS news “This year, both the 13-year and the 17-year cicadas will emerge, arriving in numbers that have not been seen in generations.”

Cicada tree

Cicada tree

Thus all the noise!!!

Which today reminded me of the noise of Pentecost!
The day the gift of the Holy Spirit arrived and the arrival was not a quiet one!


When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.

There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were blown away. They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, “Aren’t these all Galileans? How come we’re hearing them talk in our various mother tongues?

Parthians, Medes, and Elamites;
Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia,

Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,

Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene; Immigrants from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; Even Cretans and Arabs!

“They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works!”12 Their heads were spinning; they couldn’t make head or tail of any of it. They talked back and forth, confused: “What’s going on here?”

The SOUND of the rushing wind of the Holy Spirit was so loud that it attracted a huge crowd of people and was heard all over Jerusalem.
As I listened to this passage in ACTS 2 at our thinplace gathering this week, I wondered if everyone ran outside rather than running inside from the noise.

If it was so loud that the whole city was aware of it…it must have been rather deafening in the upper room where the disciples and followers of Jesus were.

We know what happened, but imagine the surprise of those followers when this really loud sound arrived and rushing wind and then tongues of fire! I’m not sure I would have felt inspired but rather more likely afraid!

I picture them running outside into the streets so that all the various nationalities heard the wonders of Jesus and his love spoken about in their native tongues.

Small groups of Romans, huddled around Mark speaking Latin or some early version of Italian! Matthew speaking in Egyptian and Arabs hearing about Jesus in Arabic from Mary!  That must have truly been amazing! To everyone! Disciples included!

When you think of the Holy Spirit, what image comes to mind? Do you imagine the wind, the tongues of fire, the dove of Jesus’s baptism, the breath of Jesus breathing on and into his followers, or speaking in tongues ? I honestly had NEVER thought about the SOUND until this week! Thanks Cicadas!

Read the ACTS 2 passage again and imagine yourself in the scene. What do you notice? Where are you during the event? Are you outside or inside? What questions do you have? Are you wondering if the disciples are drunk on wine or are you amazed by the WONDER of hearing about Jesus in your own unique language?

The Disciples and Followers of Jesus were beginning a whole new season, a NEW adventure in their lives with Jesus. They were never the same after Pentecost…they were no longer uncertain about who Jesus is. They were no longer afraid. They were ready for what was next.
How are you feeling as you start this new season?

What are the fears you need to lay aside?
What are the uncertainties that you need to give to Jesus?
Spend time talking to Jesus about these things and invite the Holy Spirit to FILL YOU AGAIN.

These Followers in Acts 2, received the Holy Spirit and were able to speak in other languages. The people in the streets heard the news of God’s love for them in their own language and were amazed and changed. Who in your life needs to know about Jesus? What “language” do you need to know in order to tell them about God’s love for them? What things and what ways could you personally use to tell others about the love of Jesus? Not just words.

Who are the people it is hard for you to tell about the love of Jesus? Talk to Jesus about this. Pray for this person/ persons or this group of people.

The Day of Pentecost celebrates the Birth of the Church…it’s the Church’s Birthday! It’s a day many congregations dress in red, the color of the feast day and have a celebration! You might dress in red or pink or orange or yellow to celebrate the colors of Fire to represent the Spirit! You could bake a cake or make cupcakes and actually sing happy birthday to the Church!

We blow out the candles on a birthday cake or cupcake and make a wish. What is your wish, YOUR PRAYER for the Church right now? Talk to Jesus about this and really spend some time praying for your church community and for the Church at large.




What is your Prayer wish for the Church?

PENTECOST …..The Birthday of the Church
The day the Holy Spirit was poured out on the people, God’s promise Fulfilled.
The Holy Spirit arrives with wind!
The Holy Spirit arrives with fire!
The Holy Spirit arrives with Power And the People are never the same! Open your heart today!
Allow God to speak to you!
Open your heart, be willing to receive more of the Holy Spirit!
Like the people in ACTS 2, LISTEN, PAY ATTENTION and
Be Open to the Great Adventure that lies ahead!

***Main image is El Greco’s THE PENTECOST





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