-From the Greek Pentekostos or Fiftieth Day
When the Day of Pentecost had come, they (the chosen disciples and Mary, the Mother of Jesus) 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 where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Acts 2:2-4
It was an amazing display of God’s creative power: wind, fire, and a musical cacophony of many languages. But it was so much more than an event, an anomaly to be discussed, misunderstood, and sometimes discredited, by the gathering crowd of pilgrim Jews. Thousands were in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Shavuot, which honors spring harvest and the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Peter, often first to seize the moment, raised his voice and addressed the crowd. He quoted the prophet Joel, who some 850 years prior, described the coming of this day: And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days. It was an important and necessary component to the fulfillment of Jesus’ death and resurrection. God united Christian followers then and forever by sending the Holy Spirit to fill their hearts. A foundation was laid for His church; indeed, some refer to Pentecost as the birthday of the church, where all find equal access to the gifts of the spirit and all that His love offers.