When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Pentecost is the Greek and Latin name for the Jewish festival Shavot, which is the harvest festival or also known as the Festival of Weeks. In Jewish history this commerates Moses receiving the Ten Commandments as told in the book of Exodus. Pentecost means the fiftieth day following the Sabbath of Passover week. It is one of three annual feasts that came before Passover.
For Christians, Pentecost is the day the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples of Jesus, following his Resurrection and Ascension into heaven. Tradition tells us this took place in the place known as the Upper Room where just weeks before Jesus had shared with them the bread and the wine, his body and his blood.
Just before his Ascension, Jesus said to the disciples.
He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Luke 24: 46-49
Does your church celebrate or regonize Pentecost Sunday?
Pentecost Sunday is recognized in many mainline and liturgical traditions. But evangelical congregations typically don’t set this day aside as a special day. For most church calendars the days of Christmas and Easter are recognized, but the other Sundays, such as Pentecost, Ascension or Reformation Sunday aren’t usually recognized.
Founders of the Methodist movement, John and Charles Wesley wrote many hymns. Wishing to expand the number of Day of Pentecost hymns they wrote hymns that were published in a book entitled Hymns of Petition and Thanksgiving for the Promise of the Father (1746).
Charles Wesley wrote these words:
Come, Holy Ghost, our hearts inspire,
Let us Thine influence prove:
Source of the old prophetic fire,
Fountain of life and love.
Come, Holy Ghost, for moved by Thee
The prophets wrote and spoke;
Unlock the truth, Thyself the key,
Unseal the sacred book.
Expand Thy wings, celestial Dove,
Brood o’er our nature’s night;
On our disordered spirits move,
And let there now be light.
God, through Himself, we then shall know
If Thou within us shine,
And sound with all Thy saints below,
The depths of love divine.
Cross posted at Richmond Bible Examiner