A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pentecost: A Major Feast Day?

Yes, indeed. The church observes, among other feast days, the three feast days of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. All the other feast days center on these three pivotal days recognizing Incarnation, Resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is obvious that the first two are great feast days of the church. No one in the church would think of scheduling a meeting on Christmas or Easter. Other than worship, everything stops (well, practically everything) for the observance of these two great holidays. But Pentecost seems to be a different matter. On Pentecost we don't see those church folk we only see at Christmas and Easter. Yes, many churches observe Pentecost during worship. In our church this morning people wore red to worship, geraniums decorated the front of the church, and red draped the sanctuary. But is there anything planned after worship? Do families get together to celebrate the holiday like they do on the other two great feast days?

I think it is true that for most Christians Pentecost is hardly a blip on the radar screen, but there is a reason the church designated it as one of its feast days. We must celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to empower God's people for ministry. We must celebrate the birth of the Church, the Body of Christ who are called to be Christ's Body in the world.

It is likely the case that Pentecost will never be celebrated in the way Christmas and Easter already are, but, at the very least, we can do better. We need Pentecost just as we need Christmas and Easter. We need the Spirit just as much as we need Incarnation and Resurrection.

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