Reflections from the Pulpit: Pentecost is 50 days after Easter

Posted 5/10/24

When worshiping with us on May 19 this year you will see that the Paraments...

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Reflections from the Pulpit: Pentecost is 50 days after Easter


When worshiping with us on May 19 this year you will see that the Paraments (Bible bookmark, pulpit drape and Communion Table cloth) will have been changed from white (season of Pascha/Easter) to red, the color of Pentecost. If you are not familiar with Pentecost, grab your Bible and read Acts chapter 2.

This year everything is different and not just because it is a “leap” year. Our Christian calendar follows the Gregorian “Hellenistic” (Greek) calendar that uses the sun as it’s basis, thus the need to a leap day every 4 years. We use this calendar. The Hebrew calendar (much, much older) uses the moon to set it’s calendar. This requires an extra month to make up the difference. This is one such year when both occur. That’s why Easter and Pesach/Passover are so far apart this year. Pentecost or Shavuot as it is sometimes called means “weeks”. Today, Hebrews stay away from the term Pentecost lest they get confused with the Christian Pentecost (which is also considered the birthday of the church).

Both use the number 50. Our Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. Their Shavuot counts 50 days, equaling 7 weeks from Passover. In the middle of the Hebrew holiday weeks, falls the Festival of First Fruits. Where am I going with all of this? I’m sure you are bored to the max, but stick with me here.

We need to recognize the feasts and festivals that Jesus celebrated. Not as a requirement, but more of yet another reference to the coming Messiah. I don’t want to get too complicated, Jesus never saw our Gregorian calendar, but He was faithful in all that was required in the Torah...thus the perfect sacrificial lamb.

Go back to your Bible you grabbed a few minutes ago and read the Gospel of John the 15th Chapter. You will again read about “first fruits”, our fruit. You know the list: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. But our fruit is not just the gifts given is those we win for the Kingdom of God! Fruit bearing might be “planting a seed”, it could be tilling the soil before the seed comes, it might mean watering and tending, involve pruning (ouch!), and if you are really blessed, reaping a harvest! John reminds us to do it all in love (agape’) even the pruning!

A good place to start is with witnessing what God has done for you personally. Would we be as bold as Peter that first Christ-Pentecost?

pentecost, Jesus, festival of first fruits