Today is the 42nd. day of the counting of 50 days to Pentecost.
A Forgotten Memorial Day: The Feast of Pentecost
“Monday is Memorial Day in the U.S. But there is another memorial day in a few days that commemorates one of the most momentous days in all of history.
On Monday, May 25, most schools, federal offices and some businesses in the United States will be closed to observe Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a U.S. holiday remembering the Americans who died in all the wars fought throughout American history.
But there is another Memorial Day approaching next week. On Sunday, May 31, is a day even more important than Memorial Day—it is the biblical Feast of Pentecost (or Feast of Weeks).
The unique feast of counting
In Leviticus 23 God gave Israel a list of special observances that He declared “the feasts of the LORD” (verse 2). These festivals were to be observed by God’s people as “holy convocations” (verse 2). Israel was to assemble together on these days to worship and learn.
The third festival in this list was unique. Instead of having a fixed date, the date of its observance was based on counting: “You shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath [during the Days of Unleavened Bread], from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath” (verses 15-16). In fact, the name Pentecost is simply the Greek term for “fiftieth.”
Every year when Christians gather to celebrate this day, they remember the events of the Pentecost that began the New Testament Church. A New Testament observance
Many, unfortunately, make the mistake of thinking that this day was just an Old Testament Jewish observance.
But the Bible paints a very different picture!
This special day is featured prominently in the New Testament. In fact, one of the most important events in the history of Christianity took place on this day. And that is no coincidence. Acts 2 tells the story of the beginning of the New Testament Church. You may have heard about some of the events of that day—tongues of fire, speaking in different languages, Peter’s powerful sermon, baptisms, etc. But have you paid close attention to why all these people were together in the first place?
Notice Acts 2:1: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
Yes, the first Christians were assembled to observe Pentecost! What happened on this day would change history forever. On that day, God began the Church of God—a group of people called out of the world and together to be “His own special people” (1 Peter 2:9). No longer would God work only with the nation of Israel. Through the Church, He would now begin calling people of all ethnicities, races and nationalities into a relationship with Him (Romans 9:24; 11:11; Galatians 3:14).
The “memorial day” of Pentecost
In a way, it is interesting that Pentecost and Memorial Day fall around the same time. The word memorial means “serving to preserve remembrance.”
The Feast of Pentecost is also a memorial day.
Every year when Christians gather to celebrate this day, they remember the events of the Pentecost that began the New Testament Church (recorded in Acts 2). But it is a different kind of remembering. Instead of just remembering the past, the events of that Pentecost continue to live as a reality today. This Pentecost, Christians will memorialize:
- The giving of the Holy Spirit. One of the most significant “firsts” of that Pentecost was when those assembled “were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4). Before this, the Holy Spirit was “with” Christ’s disciples; but now they were filled with it—it was now in them (John 14:17).
It is not a coincidence that the Holy Spirit was given on the same day the Church began. In one sense, it couldn’t have been any other way. The giving of the Holy Spirit—the very power of God—to a human being is what makes the person a member of the Church (Romans 8:14; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
To learn more about the Holy Spirit, read “What Is the Holy Spirit?”
- Peter’s powerful sermon. In one way, Peter’s powerful preaching recorded in Acts 2 could be considered the inaugural address for the Church of God. It not only identified the incredible prophetic significance of that day, but it declared who Jesus Christ was, where He now was, what He was doing—and how those truths tied together to affect the life of every individual hearing the message.
Peter proclaimed the ultimate call to action: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (verse 38).
This isn’t just a memorial message, though, because the message and work that Peter’s sermon described is still being proclaimed today.
To learn more about the vital essence of this sermon, read “The Sermon That Launched the Church.”
- The growth of the true Church. Acts 2 records that 3,000 people were baptized and added to the Church on that miraculous day. The early Church was described as continuing “steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (verse 42).
The rest of the New Testament records the progression of that Church—how it went forward and grew beyond the confines of Jerusalem through the work of men like Peter, Stephen, James, John, Paul, Timothy and many others. But when we come to the later books of the New Testament, we find a Church regressing—being attacked on many fronts, with many losing the doctrinal purity and spirit of the Pentecost of Acts 2 (Galatians 1:6; 2 Peter 2:1; Jude 1:3-4).
The Feast of Pentecost is a memorial that Jesus Christ did build a Church—which can only be identified if we understand the identifying factor of “the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42). That Church exists today; and it will gather, just as it did exactly 1,985 years ago, to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.
To learn more about how to find the true Church today, read articles on “The Church.” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/blog/a-forgotten-memorial-day-the-feast-of-pentecost/?
Photos.com"Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread are seven weeks past and we are almost finished in the counting toward Pentecost. God’s Holy Days are rich in meaning and anticipation as we rehearse them once again – each of them unique in what they picture and adding to what has gone before. The upcoming Feast of Pentecost is no different in these regards.
One unique aspect of Pentecost is that it is not a fixed date on the Calendar unlike the other Holy Days – so while it is always on the same day of the week, it can “move” in terms of which week in May or June it ends up being on.
God charged the Jews with preserving the Old Testament, but the interpretation has not always been handed down accurately. During the first century A.D., the Pharisees gained complete control of the Jewish religious observances. They figured Pentecost beginning with the day after the first annual Sabbath - the first Day of Unleavened Bread. Is this what God instructed? Preserved in a book called the Mishna is recorded how Pentecost had been counted from generation to generation before the Pharisees took control.
How the Jews count Pentecost now is not always how it had been done, or should be done. The Jews count from the first High Sabbath of the Days of Unleavened Bread - rather than from the Sabbath in the Days of Unleavened Bread. If Pentecost was to be counted from the High Sabbath of the Days of Unleavened Bread, what would be the point in saying to count the days? Why not simply say keep Pentecost on Sivan 6? Instead, the weekly Sabbath can fall on 7 different days within the Days of Unleavened Bread - hence the need to count to know when to keep Pentecost. We must pay attention to know the right time, or day, to keep.
God instructed Israel to count 50 days from the Days of Unleavened Bread to determine when to keep Pentecost. We are to count “from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the…wave offering” (Leviticus 23:15, NKJV). The Hebrew word there for Sabbath is the word used for the weekly Sabbath - the same word used in verse 3 when God reminds Israel to keep the weekly Sabbath. God instructs us to count 50 days from the weekly Sabbath which also means that Pentecost will always fall on a Sunday (first day of the week). Pentecost this year is on May 31st. Have you ever thought why God did that with this Holy Day? Every other Holy Day is set on a given day in a given month in His calendar – but not Pentecost.
Part of the reason for counting is to be reminded of the distance that we should be gaining in coming out of sin during the Days of Unleavened Bread, and part of the reason is to count with anticipation of the giving of God’s Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:4 Christ told those assembled in Jerusalem not to leave that city (before the Day of Pentecost), but “…to wait for the Promise of the Father…” that is, the giving of the Holy Spirit. Although we have been called and given access to God through His Holy Spirit, do we also count toward the day when all of mankind (1 Timothy 2:4) will have access to the knowledge of the truth?
As we finish the count toward Pentecost, let’s remember why we count Pentecost and what God wants to us to see and anticipate in that counting. It indeed will be a wonderful time when “…the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Eternal as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/counting-pentecost
Stores are opening up and life is starting become normal, but with muzzles. Most people are still wearing masks, and it is required to wear one even walking around these apartments or to the laundry or mailbox.
I took a neighbor and her dog to a vet almost into the town of Anderson to be groomed and vaccinated. It was only 8 miles away, so we came back to the apartments until it was time to get him again. He was happy to be home. She wanted to repay me by taking me out to eat at the Mexican restaurant owned by one of our church members, so we took my church neighbor too. With good distancing etiquette we were placed in a corner of the restaurant, and we all had a very good meal.
I pride myself on my good health for my age of nearly 85, but I had to break down and see the physician’s assistant. She examined me and made an appointment for me to see an internist in College Station. He examined me and it is set up for me to go to the hospital on the 11th. June. I hate going to College Station. I have lived half my life in the Houston/Conroe area, and the layout of College Station just baffles my poor old brain. My church friend went with me, and we went to HEB afterwards as there are so many items that we can’t get in our local small town grocery store. We ate at The Cotton Patch, it was good food and service, but again we were distanced in an obscure corner.
Because I will probably have to go to the hospital, I was worried about who would take care of the cat, Casper, that I had rescued. He has fattened up and has become a really loving and gentle pet. My SPCA boss said that she would take care of him, have him checked for FIV and FeLV, neutered and vaccinated, so my wonderful friend Chris came from Willis and transported him. Casper might even be up for adoption if his health checks out. I always feel that once I have them healthy and happy that I am too old to take up an animal’s time when he could have a younger person and permanent “furever” home. At my age this home might not be too permanent. If he has FIV or FeLV the normal procedure is to have them PTS because he would be unadoptable, but he and I bonded so closely that I don’t think I could let that happen. People who adopt animals don’t realize how much love and care the foster gives that pet, and the foster parents do want to hear how they are once in a while.
My young, (in her early 70’s), church neighbor was worn out from going to College Station yesterday, and so she didn’t go to church with me this morning. We did the Bible study on Zoom again. There were only about 8 people at the church and the rest were shown on Zoom on the TV that I took over there as the laptop they were using is so small. The pastor streamed the sermon on Facebook. The subject was the first 4 verses of Tim. 2. “Character of a Soldier of Christ”. He said that the church is going to open up and be normal in two weeks on the Sabbath, 6th. June, won’t that be a great day!