Sunday, May 11, 2008


Today is Pentecost, the birthday of the church. Here we celebrate the day by a festive worship service, and we have plenty of red balloons floating around It is a time of celebration and joy, as we re-live the time when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and sent them out into the world to proclaim the Good News - that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world

Today is the thrid biggest holiday in the church year, and it is one that is often overlooked. For too long we Lutherans were a bit scared of Pentecost, because is was a celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that made us nervous (as well it should, for who knows where the Spirit will lead us). But now, we are reclaiming this holiday, and we are celebrating it with an urgent sense of joy. The Spirit is here, the Spirit empowers us to do God's work in the world. The Spirit leads us into uncharted waters -all for the sake of the gospel.

Today we celebate the heart of what it means to be the church. We are a people gathered by the Spirit. We are brothers and sisters who have been given the gift of the Spirit in our lives. We are part of a body who relies on the Spirit to guide us as we go about our work, sharing God's lvoe for others in our words and deeds.

So today, may we all be blessed with the power of the Spirit in our lives. May we celebrate this great gift and wonderful birthday. And may we come together as the body that we are, working for the good of others, blessing others with the grace and love we have been blessed with as well.

1 comment:

Betty Dygart said...

Pentecost: I have always only associated this festival with the coming of the Holy Spirit, as recorded in Acts, Chapter 2. However, as I study my Bible, I find that the Israelites were directed in the celebration of this festival back in the Old Testament, Chapter 23 of Leviticus.

Pentecost is a Greek word meaning "the fiftieth day." On this day, in the Old Testament, burnt offerings were made, of seven lambs without blemish, as well as a "sin-offering" of a he-goat and a peace offering consisting of two male lambs.

(I am humored to see that the male animals were associated with sin.)

My Bible Encyclopedia also tells me that the festival of Pentecost coincided with the exact time of the year when the law was given from Mt. Sinai, according to the record in the book of Exodus.

It goes on to say, that no doubt, the Jews of Christ's time realized the significance of the coming of the Holy Spirit on this date in their festival calendar.

Because the Jews were already at a point in their religious calendar where Godly things had occurred in the past, it no doubt strengthened their understanding of the events on the New Testament Pentecost as "coming from God."

Before Jesus went back to heaven, the disciples asked him "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" It was as if they didn't want to let him go until he had given them the closure THEY needed.

His reply reveals his power and his impatience with their self-centeredness; he puts them in their place when he says,

"It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my the ends of the earth."

My prayer today is this:
Come Holy Spirit. Fill us with your power. Make us each a model of goodness and forgive us our humanness and frailities.