Speak to Me

Jonathan Brownson

READ : Acts 2:1–11

We hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God. (v. 11)

How do we hear God?

As I preach at Donsan Presbyterian Church, I offer words like a few loaves and fish, and I pray for a multiplying of meaning. I ask for assistance to break down all the cultural ideas I bring over from the States that should not be fed to this body.

We can only hear from God with God’s help: tongues to the preacher and interpretation to the hearer. I speak my native, materialistic, American brand of Bible. The Korean congregation hears, in their unique Korean dialect, of the Divine. Hearing from God is Holy Spirit work for both preacher and listener.

A preacher is set apart. He or she listens first, hearing the call of God, studying the Word of God. Then the moment comes when we take off our walking shoes and slip into something supernatural. Sometimes suddenly, most times more subtly, a whole people hear what one person heard, each applying it to their own linguistic life context. God’s Word preached is more than just a vibration of the eardrum: hearts break and dead bones live.

God one-ups our senses. He immerses and embraces us. We not only hear, we encounter the Holy Spirit. To use the Pentecost picture, God doesn’t just touch the disciples, God torches them.


Lord, speak to me that I may speak.