Friday, May 09, 2008

Be Prepared for This Sunday

Quick, do you remember what the significance is of this Sunday?

Yes, it is also Mother’s Day and an appropriate card or gift is in order. To see my post on the history of Mother’s Day click here. However my reminder is about something much more historic and significant. This Sunday is Pentecost.

The word “Pentecost” means fiftieth day. Originally Pentecost was celebrated by Hebrews fifty days after Passover. It was an agricultural festival that celebrated God’s goodness to provide a harvest. By the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 Jews began focusing their observance of Pentecost on God’s gift of the Torah (Law).

For Christians Pentecost Sunday falls fifty days after Easter and has taken on an entirely different meaning as is described in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit of God powerfully fell upon followers of Jesus Christ, fulfilling the prophecies of Joel 2 and the promise of Jesus in Acts 1:8. Because God’s Spirit has fallen upon Christians we have been empowered to be witnesses to the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus’ saving work upon the cross and in our lives.

When Christians observe/celebrate Pentecost Sunday the focus is upon the hope we have in Christ and the mission He has entrusted to us. Our mission is to share His Good News with others. In my tradition on Pentecost Sunday we pray for a specific people group in the world that has yet to hear about Jesus. This year we’re praying for the people of the Amazon Basin of South America.

Thank God for Moms, for family, enjoy connecting with loved ones but this Sunday don’t forget to worship God and renew your commitment to His purpose and mission among us.

(the art is an 18th century rendition of the Spirit falling at Pentecost by Jean Restout)

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