Lots of churches will make a lot of noise this Sunday morning, perhaps because in the story from Acts, most people thought the disciples, having been filled with the Holy Spirit, were making a lot of noise.
But what if the heroes of this Pentecost story were not the magically multilingual apostles who were making all that noise? What if it was the “devout Jews” who were listening? What they heard was not meaningless noise. They heard a message being spoken to them — in their own language. They understood.
Perhaps the folks modelling “church” in this story is not the apostles but the “devout Jews.” And maybe the story means that as church we should be listening at least as much as we are proclaiming. At least as much. And maybe more.
Think of all those who currently fit the biblical category of “stranger, widow and orphan” and whose cries for help have been dismissed by the powers that be as meaningless noise.
Maybe we as church should be listening and understanding at least as much as we are proclaiming. And maybe more.