by Rev. Fr. Alexander J. Kurien
This Sunday is that blessed Pentecost Sunday, 'the birthday of the Church'. Pentecost is a Greek word meaning '50', so we celebrate Pentecost 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus. Forty days he taught and encouraged his followers, then after his Ascension, they waited another ten days for his gift of the Holy Spirit. In ancient Israel, Pentecost was the celebration of the wheat harvest, 50 days after the slaying of the Passover lamb. Since biblical times, the Jewish celebration ('Shavuot') also commemorates the day the Ten Commandments were revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai.
The disciples were in Jerusalem celebrating this holiday together and waiting for the power from on high that Jesus had promised. Suddenly the Spirit of God came upon them with the rush of a violent wind and something like tongues of fire, which rested on them. What an awesome and perhaps frightful thing to have happened!
The world would never be the same again. In Acts 2, we read that all those present - Parthians, Medes, Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia and elsewhere -what a diverse bunch ! - All heard the gospel being proclaimed in their own language. It was a miracle.
By our Love -- Jesus said; "By this, shall all know that you are my disciples, that you have love one for another" - within and between us as individuals and between our Churches. They shall know we are Christians ultimately by our LOVE, not by our denominations, our music, our financial strength or even our doctrine. They shall know we are Christians by our love.
Power of the Holy Spirit -- Many are afraid to think of the consequences of allowing the Spirit to take control of their lives. They are afraid that they will not be able to do those things we have always enjoyed doing. Some are afraid they will be asked to do things we are afraid to do, like witness for Jesus Christ, you know— Evangelism. Others of us might even be afraid of becoming like those Pentecostals, speaking in tongues or rolling in the aisles. It is my prayer for you that the Holy Spirit will come upon you mightily this day so that you will be given power to do God's work in this world to make you mighty witnesses for Jesus Christ and so bring healing, peace, and reconciliation wherever you go.
May God's Holy Spirit move in our midst to unify us and help us in our God-given task of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in our communities. All Christians - all followers of Jesus are called to respect rather than suspect one another. Even though we may not always think alike, may we with the help of God's Holy Spirit- together proclaim and embody God's love.
A Model Relationship
by HG Yuhanon Mor Meletius
Sermon for Pentecost Sunday
by St Leo the Great
Sermon for the Day of Pentecost
by Charles Henrickson
St. John's Orthodox Church
Devotional Thoughts for the Feast of Pentecost
by Rev. Fr. Sam Mathew Kavumkal
Devotional Thoughts for the Sunday of Pentecost
by Rev. Fr. Dr. George Pulikkottil
Devotional Thoughts for Pentecost Sunday
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril
Sermons and Bible Commentaries for Pentecost
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