Pentecost means 50th day and is one of the three major festivals of the Christian Church (Easter and Christmas are the other two). However, it was originally a Jewish holiday. For the people of Israel, Pentecost was 50 days after the Passover celebration and celebrated the end of the grain harvest. It was a festival of offering first fruits and then having a feast (similar to our national Thanksgiving observances, particularly when we were a more agrarian culture). Also associated with the Jewish Pentecost was the giving of the Law and the founding of the Jewish community of faith. Early Christians found in their Pentecost a thanksgiving for the fruits of the Holy Spirit as well as the founding of the Christian Church. In fact, most Christians think of Pentecost as the birthday of the church. This is because 50 days after the death and resurrection of Jesus, when Pentecost rolled around that year, the living ascended Jesus poured His Spirit out upon his diciples, fulfilling His promise to send another Counselor (John 16:7). With a lively wind like the creative breath of God in the creation story of Genesis, the Holy Spirit called, gathered, enligtened, and sanctified the disciples. The Spirit empowered them to bring the promises of Christ to the world.
This Sunday at St. Andrew's, we celebrate the Festival of Pentecost at St. Andrew's as we rejoice in the Spirit's presence among us and our mission together. Geraniums will adorn the front of the church, many of our worshippers (maybe even you!) will be wearing red, and the music will reflect the coming of the Spirit into the church and into our hearts. Also, we are privileged to welcome our Pastor Emeritus, the Rev. Thomas Kochenderfer as our guest preacher this day. Pastor K and I have been talking about this day for quite some time now. We hope that many of you will be able to join us on this special day. We gather for worship at 8:15 and 11AM with food and fellowship in the narthex following worship. Also, there will be a light breakfast served in St. Andrew's Hall at 9:30 as we give thanks to God for the blessings of our Christian Education program here at St. Andrew's.
Please note that we are still in need of volunteers to help serve food and drinks here at St. Andrew's to cyclists participating in the Lutheran Charities Bike Ride on Saturday June 26th. If you are available to help at any part of the day, please sign up on the bulletin board in the narthex. Also, we are still seeking volunteers to bring lemonade and cookies to share following 9:30 worship this summer. There is a sign up sheet on the bulletin board for this as well.
Hope everyone is keeping cool in this hot weather. Please keep those who have experienced far more devastating weather around the nation in your prayers. Also, pray for those in our area who will be graduating from High School in the days ahead. See you in church!