I would like to begin my post this week by expressing my gratitude to all those who worked so hard to make last week’s youth Sunday a success. As a former youth pastor myself, I remember how much work and coordination goes into planning for, practicing, and pulling off a service like that. This hard work and dedication was surely on display last Sunday as the youth led us in a wonderful and meaningful service of worship. Whether it was in the message that our two graduating seniors shared with us, or in those who performed liturgy, or in all those who officially joined our church as confirmands, the work of the Holy Spirit was clearly present in the lives of these young people, and we as a congregation have been blessed by their faithful witness among us.
Speaking of the Holy Spirit, this Sunday we will be celebrating Pentecost. This is a day in which we remember when the Holy Spirit was poured out among Jesus’ disciples following his ascension. The timing for this special Sunday in our liturgical calendar is closely connected to the occasion for which the disciples were all gathered together in Jerusalem in the first place.
The disciples were gathered together in Jerusalem with many others who had made the pilgrimage from far and wide in order to celebrate the Jewish festival of Shavuot, or the Festival of Weeks, which is both a harvest festival and a commemoration of God’s gift of the law to Moses at Mt. Sinai. The festival occurred exactly 50 days after the 2nd day of Passover, which is why we call it Pentecost, from a Greek word meaning “fiftieth.”
Pentecost Sunday is special in many ways, one of which is that it is the only Sunday in our liturgical calendar that utilizes the color red. This color symbolizes the “tongues of fire” that descended upon the disciples as the Holy Spirit came upon them and gave them the ability to share God’s great works of power, speaking in many different languages. Therefore, in order to help us celebrate this wonderful event, I would invite you to wear red this Sunday morning.
I hope to see you this Sunday, all decked out in red, as we gather together to worship and celebrate God’s presence among us.