What is Pentecost?
May 13, 2018
On Sundays during football season, many folks wear their Colts gear to worship as they support the hometown team. On Pentecost Sunday, however, you might find Lutheran (and other) Christians trading in their blue and white for RED.
Why is it customary to wear red on Pentecost?
Wearing red represents the tongues of flame that rested upon the disciples as the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the first followers of Jesus.
Here are a few interesting tidbits to help you move deeper into the story of Pentecost:
· Pentecost means “50” in Greek – the Day of Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Easter.
· Jews have Pentecost too – it is the Greek name for the Festival of Shavuot or “Weeks” (7 weeks after Passover). It celebrates the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai.
· Pentecost is often called the “Birthday of the Church” – because the Holy Spirit empowers the church to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ in the world.
· It was windy – a great wind blew through the assembly. In the original biblical languages, one word – “ruach” in Hebrew and “pneuma” in Greek – is translated as both “wind” and “spirit” in English.
· Everyone understood – the Pentecost story reports that people from many countries and regions were present at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and all heard the telling of God’s deeds of power in their own languages. This is different than the spiritual practice of “speaking in tongues” when otherwise indiscernible utterings must be interpreted by a believer with the gift of interpretation. This was a miraculous translation, likely intended to indicate the global reach of the Good News.
On Pentecost Sunday at Christ the Savior this year, the prayers of the church will be offered in a variety of languages representing the cultural diversity of Christ the Savior Lutheran Church – and as a sign that God’s people pray in countless dialects around the world each day.
Why not show your “team loyalty” by wearing red to celebrate Pentecost on May 20? Together, we will celebrate that the Holy Spirit continues to breathe life into the church, and we continue to proclaim the mighty acts of God to all the world!
You can find the story of the first Pentecost in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Acts.