What is a Pentecost?

Posted: June 11, 2019 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , , , ,

June 9, 2019 was Pentecost Sunday. It is marked 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, hence the term-Pente- meaning well, 50. But beyond that, and that the church decorations go to the bright red what is the big deal for this season we are entering? The story is told in Acts 2:1-47.  Some key-points on that reference- Acts, or Acts of the Apostles is the fifth book in the Christian Testament (colloquially called the New Testament of our Holy Bible). It is the sequel to Gospel of Luke, and written by the physician Luke to tell the history of the church as he knew it. In case you have never used a Bible, the numbers denote chapters and verses (the verses are sentences in the paragraphs). The number before the colon is the chapter (2) and the numbers after are the verses.

This is the Church’s birthday if you will. So how was it celebrated? Was it celebrated by creating rules on who was in and who was out? Which type of music was to be sung? How prayers were to be said? Wafers or bread at communion?

Nope.

In fact, as you note from the story. The colour red of today is to remind us of the flaming tongues that came down upon the Apostles. Yes, fire. The Holy Spirit. Or as some of the older creeds (what we believe) of the church will note, Holy Ghost. This is the breath of life of God that was breathed so creation, well formed after the big bang. The intrinsic divine piece in all of us. It is the piece we come into and that baptism in water is used as an allegory for.

The Spirit fully washed out on the early followers who were sharing the story of faith. They laid out the past, the exclusionary past and the pain could be remembered at what had happened. Showing where they had been in an exclusionary world, where labels and castes kept people separated in life, socio-economics, with human rights, and in ability to worship.

Then BANG! Jesus. This labourer out of a back water town upsetting the apple cart, laying the foundation of belonging for all. All were open to realize and actualize the gift of the Holy Spirit (it was breathed into us y’know) and suddenly the powers that be plotted his death, and it horribly went awry as the cosmos shouted a loud n’uh. Now his followers were here, and the Holy Spirit was a flame…and the final barrier to belonging was shattered. For the tongues of flame, allowed speaking in tongues…

That is, the languages that kept neighbour from understanding neighbour, was suddenly no longer a stumbling block. Speaking in tongues, was the Apostles speaking their own language, and through the love of listening to understand, the words were heard in the language of the hearers native lands. Thus undoing the ancient myth understanding of the Tower of Babel.

Babel was humanities attempt to seek power for power’s sake and build a tower to the heavens. It was shattered as you can read, and the people were left divided by language. As they gathered out of love of neighbour, self and God in the infinite circle, the Tower was erased, and once more the people were one…in Love.

What is Pentecost as its heart?

Not just a liturgical thing in the church year where colours change. Rather, it is the season of the church year where we focus on ensuring all belong.

What is one thing you can do this week, to create belonging for someone?

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