WORDS THAT SET THE WORLD ON FIRE
“…do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” –Mark 13:11
Jesus speaks these words to Peter, James, John, and Andrew, as they discuss the time to come, one in which Jesus will no longer be present with them. It is before the Crucifixion and Resurrection, and the disciples don’t realize what the future holds for followers of Christ.
Jesus gives them hints of the Great Commission, telling them all the nations must hear the Gospel before his return. At this point, the disciples haven’t experienced the climax of the story. How does one tell a story when they don’t know the ending? How could they speak of something they don’t fully understand? I imagine they felt a sense of fear and foreboding.
We know that Pentecost changed the trajectory of everything. Suddenly, the disciples receive a power they’ve never known. They speak in foreign languages, sharing the good news of Jesus, seeing thousands of souls saved. From this day forward, they tell the rest of the story. They speak through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit sets their words and the world on fire.
As followers of Christ, we’re called to share this same story under the power of the very same Spirit. Sometimes I worry my words will come out wrong, that I’ll clam up in fear, and the words will disappear. Jesus promises that the Spirit will give us the right words to say. This requires us to live in unity with the Spirit, yielding to him, so we speak not from our flesh, but with words set aflame.
Holy Spirit, give me the words to speak so I might bear witness to God’s great love. Show me what to say to my friends, family, and co-workers when they question my faith. Let me burn with a passion for your Holy Fire. In Jesus’ name, Amen.