Pentecost! If anything could be considered the central chapter of Acts, it would be this: the continuing activity of the H.S.
That’s what Acts is all about; the remaining chapters describe further activity of the H.S., and the pity is that so many people think it ends with chapter 28. No, no, no. It goes on right down to 2006, and it’s not just about the orthodox tradition, it’s about a great deal more, eg all the ‘heretics’ as well and much more than that.
We already discerned that Pentecost is the reversal of the Tower of Babel, when we learn to understand one another’s language; the H.S. doesn’t mean for us to speak and understand only our tribalistic lingo; the gift to us is to understand the ‘Hindoo’, the Sarecen, the mulatto, yes, the chocolates.
The original beneficiaries of this gift went out to all these types and many, many others.
Pentecost freed the original community (who had developed complete community) from any further dependence upon the law, the Testament which had bound the Hebrews (what Blake meant by ‘mind forg’d manacles’). And by the same token we are freed from our little parochial viewpoints- if we experience pentecost.
Stephen expressed that freedom, and it cost him his mortal life- and a crown of glory. Few or any of us will choose his route, but to whatever degree we have the courage we may witness to the glory that has been given to us. Glory be; that is the H.S. working in us as it (he,she) did in Stephen, Peter and Paul.