Our daughter Amanda was recently asked to take part in a BBC Wales S4C TV production Iaith ar Daith, which is based on the premise that a ‘celebrity’ learns to speak Welsh and converses in it in a variety of activities. [https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0c1sc96/iaith-ar-daith-iaith-ar-daith-cyfres-3-amanda-henderson]. She was given a series of online lessons and one session with a tutor before filming and then was introduced to her host Mali Harries who is a Welsh speaking actress.
Amanda spoke Welsh at a number of locations including; a place that offers therapy with donkeys, working with firemen on a fire training exercise, painted a building in Port Meirion, had circus skills training and was a guest on Pryhawn Da a Welsh daytime programme.
I was amazed with her ability to speak Welsh in the way she did in order that she could be understood and understand, of course not getting it right all the time and constantly referring back to Mali for help.
All this has made me reflect as we move to the amazing impact of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost[Acts 2 1-13], how given the power of the Spirit the disciples spoke in different languages so the hearers from many different places heard the message. This is the power we must rely on as we speak God’s message to all in a language they can understand, maybe not a foreign language but one that we speak into their context. It may be obvious to use different words when we speak to children, but how can we speak the Gospel to our friends, to social groups we belong to, to work environments, to teenagers etc.
I suppose first we need to pray for the Spirit of Pentecost to give us the desire the disciples had to proclaim Jesus to the world around us. Maybe we won’t be speaking with the authority Peter did to the large assembled crowd [Acts 2.14 onwards] but we need his confidence and boldness in the Spirit to overcome our fear of speaking out for Jesus.
Go forth and tell! O church of God, awake!
God’s saving news to all the nations take;
proclaim Christ Jesus, saviour, Lord, and king,
that all the world his worthy praise may sing.
Go forth and tell! God’s love embraces all;
he will in grace respond to all who call:
how shall they call if they have never heard
the gracious invitation of his word? ©James Seddon
Your friend, servant and colleague in Christ