If you follow the liturgical church calendar, you know that today is Pentecost. When it comes to practicing a cross-over of non-liturgical and liturgical, I follow both in my personal worship. Odd. I know. That’s okay. There must be a name for people like me but I don’t know what it is. Possibly some Baptist would have a demeaning title for me but actually, I don’t even care.
I practice Lent. I do it quietly and don’t push it off on anyone else. I happen to think that it keeps my mind focused on the price of Calvary. Advent is important to me too. Once again, I think that practicing Advent keeps my mind focused on the best gift giving of all–the Christ Child.
So, today is Pentecost. Some churches tend to call it the “birthday” of the church. I just like to take the time to let my imagination kick into gear and put myself into that group of 120 when the Holy Spirit descended. I like to hear the rushing sound of wind, and see the amazing fire in cloven tongues that must not have burned. Think of the surprise of opening one’s mouth and speaking Italian, or French, or Swahili instead of English! Amazing–and even a little amusing.
Pentecost has a deep spiritual sense. I found this quote from Dr. Mark D. Roberts on his Patheos blog site: “Moreover, those of us who hold positions of power in the church should examine our attitudes and actions. Are we encouraging all of God’s people to minister through the power of the Spirit? Are we open to what the Spirit of God wants to do in our churches and communities through his empowered people? Or are we gatekeepers of the church who would even keep the Holy Spirit out of our carefully tended and controlled communities? As a pastor, my role is to equip God’s people for doing the ministry of Christ in the church and the world (Eph 4:11-12). Sometimes, however, we pastors are so concerned about our own position and power that we fall short of this central pastoral calling. Pentecost is a day for pastors and other church leaders to recommit to equipping and encouraging all Christians for their ministry. When we do this, the Holy Spirit will be free to use the church of Jesus Christ for God’s purposes in the world.”
He said it well, didn’t he? That was written in 2011.
On his site, you can get a snapshot of the history and meaning of Pentecost from Mosiac history to present day.