Pentecost


Pentecost 2018


Pentecost starts

the evening of May 19 through May 21.


This is the 71st Pentecost

since

Israel became a nation

on May 14, 1948.

(a few days later was Pentecost)


Pentecost has two main themes:

  1. The Word of God
  2. The Light of God


The feast of Pentecost

is one of the 7 major feasts found in Leviticus.


This springtime Jewish feast has many names.

It is called Shavuot.

It is also called the Feast of Weeks - that is probably because it marks the completion of a seven-week counting period between Passover and Pentecost.

This feast is also called the Feast of the Harvest.  This was because the grain harvest had just come in.  


There are several themes of Pentecost. On this page we are going to focus on two of the themes.


The first theme is:

the Word of God

which includes the Law of God  




The theme of the Word of God

Pentecost was established as a feast unto the Lord in commemoration of God giving the law to Moses and the children of Israel.  

Today Jews celebrate the day by gathering at their congregations and listening to the Ten Commandments being read. They also read many other passages in the Bible. They frequently choose to read the book of Ruth.

Ruth was born a Gentile and during her adulthood, she was grafted into the Jewish family of God when she dedicated herself to the God of the Jews.

Ruth is famous for marrying the Jewish man named Boaz.

The name “Ruth” means “friendship,” and it is interesting how her name relates to her life. Meaning that Ruth - being a Gentile -  reached out in friendship to the Jewish people and chose the Jewish God - which is the only true God.

The Feast of Pentecost starts at night.

On that night, many Jews practice a tradition of staying awake and reading the Bible until midnight or later.

Some Jews attempt to stay up all night reading the Bible - and some fall asleep trying to stay up all night reading the word of God.

Respect for the Word of God -  and respect for God’s laws in particular  -  is an important part of Pentecost.


The second theme is:

the Light of God 


The next theme is light.

In the book of John, Jesus calls himself the Light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”


Candle lighting is done at each Jewish home as part of the celebration of Pentecost.  Usually special candle lighting is done right after dark -  but on Pentecost - they wait longer until it is very dark.  (I personally wonder what that symbolism means. )

In the New Testament,  we see that the first Pentecost after Jesus’ death ended up being the birth of the church.

In Acts 1:8 right before Jesus ascended into heaven, Jesus told the people -  who were with him - “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”

This happened to them on the next Pentecost feast day.  Here a group of     people -  who believed that Jesus was the promised Jewish Messiah - were meeting together in Jerusalem waiting on the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

On   that   Pentecost, fire miraculously appeared over all the believers who had met together to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The fire represented the light of God.

Another unusual aspect of that day was that the believers began to speak in other tongues. This means that they were speaking in languages that they had never learned. The believers went out into the street and as they were speaking in these  languages, they were actually preaching the gospel to the foreign Jews  who were visiting in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost.

Notice that today Christians  remember Pentecost for the fire that produced light over the believers’ heads. Also notice that our Jewish friends have special candle lighting as a part of their Pentecost celebration.  Light is a big part of Pentecost.

Again, two key themes of Pentecost are the word of God and light.  The word of God  and the light of God are closely associated. In fact, the Bible even    explains to us   that the word of God is light

In  Psalm 119:105 NKJV the psalmist says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Psalm 119:130 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) also tells us:

 As people understand your word, it brings light to their lives.
    Your word makes even simple people wise.

John chapter 8 verse 12 NKJV says “Then Jesus spoke to them again saying ‘ I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

So when you obey Jesus – when you follow Jesus – you are walking in the light. Following the Bible is walking in light. And the more we read the Bible and obey God, the more light we will walk in.

At Pentecost, it is good to remind ourselves of several things.

  • First is the wonderful blessing of the Word of God.
  • Second is the fact that Jesus is light and the Word of God brings us light.
  • And the final point is that we are called to receive light from the Lord and then to shine out our light to others.

Other interesting facts

Tradition says that David died on Pentecost at the age of 70.

David was a direct descendant of Ruth.

Tradition tells us the Enoch was born and was translated on the same day - Pentecost!

Almighty God,

Be to us

tongues of fire on this Pentecost.

Stir us with passion

for You and Your Word.

In Jesus's name we pray,

Amen

Copyright © 2017 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com


Heavenly Father,

We celebrate you today.

Today is such a special day.

This is the 70th Pentecost since Israel became a nation.

70 is such a special number to you.

Share with us this day – your passion.

As the tongues of fire rested over the heads of the disciples some 2,000 years ago, we ask for tongues of fire.

We ask for tongues of firey passion for you and for your word.

May this Pentecost leave us more devoted to you.

And may we be determined to shine our light out, to the world,  today and every day to come.

In Jesus’ name we pray,

Amen

Copyright © 2017 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com


Important Scriptures


In conclusion, below are some hand-picked verses

from the Bible about the theme of light.


As you read these verses,

expect God to speak directly to you.


Verses not written out on this page:

1 Peter 2:9a NKJV

John 12:46 TLB

Proverbs 4:18-19 NKJV

Psalm 97:11 Contemporary English Version

Psalm 18:28 Contemporary English Version

Psalm 27:1 KJV and Contemporary English Version

Proverbs 13:9 Contemporary English Version

2 Corinthians 6:14-15 NKJV

Acts 26:17-18a Contemporary English Version

Isaiah 5:20 NKJV

1 John 1:5b-6 NKJV

Philippians 2:14-16a Contemporary English Version

1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 Today’s English Version

Romans 13:11-12a TLB

John 3:19-21 NIV


Verses written in the text of this page:

John 1:1  NKJV

John 8:12a NKJV

Acts 1:8 NKJV

Psalm 119:105 NKJV

Psalm 119:130 ERV

John 8:12 NKJV


Pentecost is about celebrating zeal for God

as opposed to those who have

apathy for God.


We invite you to our other Bible Devotions.

 

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