Let me answer a few of your questions about today’s Pentecost celebration.
So what is this Pentecost thing?
The term Pentecost comes from the Greek word for “fiftieth” (50th). It refers to the festival celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover, also known as the “Feast of Weeks.”
For the early church, Pentecost was the second most important day of the Christian year after Easter. Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the first disciples. It signifies the birth of the church.
What do the different symbols of Pentecost mean?
Wind: Represents God’s first breath of love (Hebrew: Ruah) into all of creation. A “driving wind” surrounded the apostles on that first Pentecost to enliven them in their faith. The breath of the Holy Spirit lives in each and every one of us.
Fire: Represents the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit filled the early church with enthusiasm, replacing their fear with the courage to go out and share God’s love and justice with the world.
Red: We dress both ourselves and the sanctuary in red on Pentecost to represent the dynamic nature of the Holy Spirit and the passion for life of those who are open to the Spirit.
Dove: This symbol of peace represents the Holy Spirit that descended “like a dove” and rested upon Jesus when he was baptized.
Why do we still celebrate Pentecost?
Pentecost gives us the chance to ask ourselves, “What are we on fire about?” Here at Royal Oak First, we are on fire about making the love of Christ real. We are on fire about feeding the hungry. We are passionate about making room for children and youth. We are committed to caring for our seniors. We are fired up to make a real difference in the world.
At Royal Oak First, Pentecost is not a day, it is a way of living in the world! We love all the ways that the Holy Spirit is at work among us.
Welcome! We are glad you are you!