We don’t go around the streets of Gatehouse of Fleet and Kirkcudbright wishing each other a Happy Pentecost in the way that we wish each other a Happy Christmas and Happy Easter. Christian churches in the UK are much more shy about God as the Holy Spirit than our fellow Christians elsewhere. In churches in Greece and Cyprus, the worshipping congregation joins the crowds in the streets joyfully greeting one another. Church and community are one. Even in the Netherlands, and the Dutch are similarly conservative, Pentecost, or Pinterfest, lasts two days, and there are often family get-togethers. Nowdays socially distanced of course …
The first Pentecost came at a highly significant time in the life of the early church. The first followers of Jesus had all gathered together. The first fears of the fearful knock on the door, and arrest by the Roman authorities or temple police; had subsided. But now they were in a sorry state; weak depressed, lonely, confused. Jesus had miraculously come back from the dead, but had now with the Ascension returned to heaven. The scene is set for us in the Acts of the Apostles When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house. Not only had God manifested Himself in the power, discernment, and comfort of the Holy Spirit, this was also the birth-day of the church.
Following on from this, the bed-rock of the Church’s faith is the belief in the doctrine of the Trinity. God the Father Who loves us, God the Son who died for us, and God the Holy Spirit who enlightens and empowers us. Put another way, the three great festivals of the Church; Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. Three good bases for life itself.
Stephen D. Hazlett , Rector