Pentecost is one of the great festivals that the worldwide church celebrates. Going back into the Old Testament, this festival was called ‘a feast of weeks’ or ‘feast of harvest’ . It was a time when Jews from many lands would go up to Jerusalem for this particular festival.
Pentecost in the New Testament came 50 days after Easter. Jesus had promised His disciples that, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth”. Acts 1:8
Just as Jesus promised, 50 days after His resurrection, and in obedience to His command, the disciples were together in one place when the promise was fulfilled and they were filled with the Holy Spirit, in a building that was shaking, fire on their heads and they were speaking in tongues. It was the birthing of the Church, here was the beginning of a harvest that continues today.
Interesting that the number 50 in Scripture symbolises jubilee; a symbol of freedom, release, and new cycles. For these men and women, as followers of Jesus, this was most certainly freedom from fear of man, a release to be and do whatever God called them to be and do and as for cycles, well it certainly was ‘on your bike time’ as they took the gospel to the nations. (I know it doesn’ t mean that but I could not resist!)
We join with you this Pentecost in praying that, as the body of Christ, we will increasingly know the infilling and outflowing of the Holy Spirit as in our ‘being and doing’ we shall play our part in seeing the continuing of harvest as our families, friends, neighbours and communities want to know the Jesus they see in us as we live and move in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Happy birthday Church, have a great Pentecost.
Ian Cole is the founder of the World Prayer Centre Birmingham.