Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:5-12)
My dream for our community is that everyone we encounter, from all cultural backgrounds, will say of the Cranbourne Salvation Army, "We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!"
Today, I captured a photo of some of our Community Support Services volunteers representing six nations, different faith perspectives and diverse life experiences. Yet, each one of them identify with the mission of The Salvation Army in some capacity and voluntarily give their time to serve our common humanity. In this space there are many messages being spoken by both our words and actions, but I wonder what part of our mission is most being heard and understood? What is our primary witness - the works of 'man' or the wonders of God? Is there a langauge of love that personifies the love of God and transcends culture?
The cultural diversity of our volunteers is reflective of the cultural diversity of our community. My prayer is that the Spirit of God will move with such power through our ministry that everybody we encounter will be "utterly amazed" just like those gathered at Pentecost and will also ask, "What does this mean?" When they do, may we be empowered to declare the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ in such a way so "that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Acts 2:21).