I find the account of Pentecost in Acts to be very interesting. One thing I’ve noticed is the interpretive model that Peter uses. There are three responses to the dynamic outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 1.) Confusion: as seen in the folks who asked, “What’s going on?” 2.) Skepticism demonstrated by the folks who said, “They’re just drunk…don’t we all speak foreign languages when we’re drunk? Don’t we?” and 3.) Peter’s interpretive act whereby he clarifies and interprets the event through the lens of Old Testament prophecy.
What is our response to strange events in our lives? Are we too confused to look for answers, do we respond with the same old staid skepticism, or are we steeped enough in the narrative of Scripture to interpret them through the lens of God’s ongoing drama of Salvation?
I’m pretty smitten with some of the post-modern/emergent ways of thinking, and I really appreciate the emphasis on mystery and awe found in that way of being the Church. However, sometimes I think we can over-mystify things to the point that we neglect placing them in the trajectory of God’s story of salvation. This passage seems to suggest that there are times that what seems confusing or strange, even mysterious, can be interpreted when placed in the right interpretive framework.
On another note, here are some helpful thoughts on Pentecost from Dan Clendenin.