How we normally think of Pentecost
Pentecost in the Christian church is the celebration of the Holy Spirit descending on all who were gathered for the Jewish festival. We often call it the birthday of the church and we celebrate it each year as a by remembering the power we have that God gave us to fulfill tour mission.
But what happens when we can’t gather? How do we celebrate a gathering when we can’t be together. Since social distancing began we have re-imagined how we do church. Isn’t online worship a work of the Spirit to be able to bring God’s Word to people in ways they can understand?
Looking back and forward
Before Christians began celebrating Pentecost, Jews celebrated Pentecost as the Feast of Weeks. One of three pilgrimage festivals of the Bible. It was the anniversary of the day the Torah was given to Moses.
The Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to have a power they couldn’t image. A power to do the things Jesus said they could do. It was exponential.
Pentecost 2020 can enable us to fulfill the commandments of God in similar ways. Here are a few to start us out.
- Start in our homes. Love our-self. Love our families.
- Love our neighbors. Those physically next to us. Who are they? Why are they in this town? What are their dreams? Fears? Needs?
- Love to the ends of the earth.
Points 1 and 2 have always been possible for us but we now have had the time to see how important they are. We’ve slowed down a bit. Taken stock of our family situation. And either rejoiced or mourned. We may need healing. We may have healed. But we now know where we are.
The ends of the earth have been possible for some time too but now the ends of the earth are also finding us.
Another term for the Festival of Weeks is Shavuot. It is the counting of weeks or days. The Jewish people literally count the days until they got the Torah after being freed.
We’ve been freed and we count the days until we can gather a family of God. Until then we count our days with our family and neighbors. And by counting them we make them count.
Go and love the people next to you. And make sure that your digital presence is loving as well.
Until Everyone Hears,