Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
When it comes to church holidays, Christmas and Easter get all the attention, but what about Pentecost? This year, Pentecost Sunday falls on June 8th, this Sunday. Often, many Christians are hard pressed to explain the significance of the day.
Some believe that Pentecost is the day that the church was born. On that day, the Holy Spirit came to fill believers. Jesus had ascended, but he sent the Spirit so that believers could have the comfort, guidance, and empowerment of God's presence.
Each year, Pentecost Sunday comes 50 days after Easter Sunday, hence its name. The Greek word for the number 50 is pentecost. The beginning of Pentecost is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4.
The disciples of Jesus were gathering together the day of Pentecost when:
"Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." - Acts 2:2-4
Now I do not care to refer to Pentecost as "the birthday of the church" for it is so much more than that. In Christian tradition, Pentecost brings the Great 50 Days of Easter to a close. More importantly in my view is that the Day of Pentecost points us forward toward new beginnings, for it's when Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the new horizons this opens up in the story of God's faithfulness to the world.
Pentecost Sunday isn't just about celebrating the past or "stoking nostalgia about the church's supposed glory days." Rather I believe Pentecost is an invitation to dream. For when a community of faith quits dreaming dreams, it has little to offer the world or its members.
When the Holy Spirit descended some 2,000 years ago, one of Jesus' disciples, Peter, explained the event to a perplexed crowd by invoking the Prophet Joel's words: "In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy."
While words such as "prophecy" and "visions" may scare some people off or evoke bad memories for others we are reminded that this is not about seeing into the future, but rather seeing God as active and visible in the world right now, right here!
Pentecost is a time for Christians to be reminded that we are all a team of dreamers, becoming a vehicle for the transformative work of God in Jesus Christ in and to the world! May it be so here!
Alleluia, Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
See ya Sunday and wear Red!
Blessings, Peace, Joy, & Hope,
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