Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pentecost Sunday

The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Anthony Van Dyck
1599 – 1641

The Jewish feast of Pentecost is the day when those persons who had followed the Jewish Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, became the Church. Gathered together for prayer in an "upper room," a "mighty wind" blew, tongues of fire appeared, and these followers began to speak of what they had seen and had heard for these last three years. The uncertainty and timidity were gone.

Jewish pilgrims filled Jerusalem for the Pentecost feast and heard Peter and others proclaiming the way of the Christ in their own languages. In this, the universality of the Christian message and mission is foreshadowed, and the leadership of Peter begun.

From The Acts of the Apostles

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

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