“They were surprised and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all the people who are speaking Galileans, every one of them? 8 How then can each of us hear them speaking in our native language?” (Acts 2:7-8).
May 27 is Pentecost Sunday, the day set aside on the church calendar to celebrate the coming of God’s Holy Spirit; based on Acts 2:1-21, this was a day set aside for a spring harvest festival. In Jewish tradition it was the day set aside to celebrate God’s gifting of the Law. For Christians, we recognize Pentecost as the day God’s Spirit swept through the multinational crowd gathered in Jerusalem, enabling them to speak each other's languages, and to hear the first Christian sermon telling of prophecies fulfilled and God’s wonder-filled love. For western Christianity, Pentecost has become known as the birth of the Church. In America it is not uncommon to find a “Happy Birthday Church” cake being served during fellowship time.
Birthdays are a cause for celebration. It is a chance to give thanks to God for life, love, and relationships. My fortieth birthday was hard for me. My then 14 year old daughter, Cassie (the sage soul that she has always been), recognized this and organized a surprise party for me. Always the consummate planner, she invited guests to an internationally themed party. She told them to bring a dish to share reflecting their cultural heritage; and learn how to say, “Happy Birthday,” and “I love you,” in that language. Friends gathered were of German, Italian, Dutch, English and African descent. I felt doubly blessed. It was the perfect way to sweep me out of my “fortieth-funk,” reminding me of the pleasures of God’s love, and how wonderful it is to hear and say “I love you,” in many languages. I hope you will stop to recognize that your relationship with God through Jesus Christ makes you doubly blessed. Give thanks to God for the gift of the Holy Spirit in your life, blessing you with love and relationships that reflect the refreshing, ever-present, sweet Spirit of the risen Christ. May laughter, loving and faith be yours, Pastor Sue
Grace and peace for the journey together,