Pentecost is the day that the church was born. Christ was crucified, rose again, spent thirty days with His disciples, then ascended to heaven. Pentecost immediately followed. For two millennia, Christians have been celebrating the church’s birthday with joy and exuberance. Pentecost Sunday takes place 40 days after Easter Sunday. Originally, Pentecost was a Jewish holiday what was held 50 days after Passover as one of the major Jewish feasts. Here’s how it all got started.
Background of Pentecost Sunday
Believed to be the oldest feast in the Church, the story of Pentecost dates back to the first century A.D. The feast of Pentecost coincided with the Jewish Feast of Weeks, which occurs 50 days after the Passover (Deuteronomy 16:10). According to Jewish tradition, the Ten Commandments were given to Moses 50 days after the first Passover, which freed the Hebrews from their bondage in Egypt. As the Hebrews settled into Canaan, the feast became a time to honor the Lord for blessing the fruits of their labors. At the time of Jesus, the festival focused on rabbinical law and traditions. Since this Jewish holiday took place at the same time of the Pentecost, many Jewish Christians appropriated its celebration into their Christian commemoration of the coming of the Spirit.
Pentecost Today – How To Celebrate
Pentecost Sunday should be a day of celebration. The purest meaning of Pentecost is that of a time of renewal for Christian believers. Let it be a Sunday of renewal, focused on evangelism, empowerment from the Holy Spirit, deeper intimacy with God, and fellowship. Pray that your celebration of Pentecost imparts faith, hope, a sharing of community, and an awareness of a purpose much greater than themselves in your congregation. Let your worship service be an explosion of color and sound, lights, and joyous music. It’s the church’s birthday after all.