Did you know that the church has a birthday?
Not an anniversary but a day we celebrate the birth of the church at large.
The day we celebrate as the church’s birthday is Pentecost Sunday which we will celebrate this Sunday!
Fifty days after Easter many Jews gathered together in Jerusalem to celebrate Shavuot which is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the important wheat harvest in the Land of Israel as well as commemorating the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire nation of Israel at Mount Sanai. The word Pentecost is actually the Greek word for Shavuot!
As people gathered from different places to celebrate the Shavuot a wind came through the room where they were meeting and flames like fire appeared and rested above each person’s head. When people began to speak their own language everyone understood what was being spoken. This day commemorates for us the gift of the Holy Spirit! The third part of the Trinity! God’s presence with us here and now!
Pentecost has also been called the Birthday of the Church as the Holy Spirit descended and made one people out of many from different places to form a new community.
Like most birthdays we take time to appreciate someone and the gift they are to our lives! Likewise, Pentecost gives us a moment to give thanks for the church- God’s gift to us! As we move toward Sunday we also meditate upon what is next- like many of us do on our birthdays!
This week may each of us spend some time giving thanks to God for FUMC and also dreaming about what is in store over the next year! Surely God can and will do more than we can imagine!