WHIT SUNDAY (PENTECOST), SUNDAY 9th JUNE 20190
You are most welcome for today’s service (Pentecost Sunday) in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
In the Old Testament, “Pentecost” referred to the number of days from the offering of the barley sheaves at the beginning of the Passover. On the fiftieth day was the feast of Pentecost. The Feast was not limited to the times of the Pentateuch, but its observance is indicated in the days of King Solomon (2Chron. 8:13) as the second of the three annual Festivals (cf Deuteronomy 16:16).
Majorly, the Pentecost Feast served as a day of Joy (Duet. 16:16) an expression of gratitude for the blessings of the grain harvest, thanksgiving, a reminder of the Israelites deliverance from Egypt (Duet. 16:12) as God’s covenant.
In the New Testament there are three references to Pentecost;
(i) Acts 2:4 – On this day, after the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ (A.D. 30), the disciples were gathered in a house in Jerusalem and were visited with signs from heaven. The Holy Spirit descended upon them, and new life, power and blessings were evident: which Peter explained was in fulfilment of the Prophecy of Joel (see Joel 2:28).
(ii) Acts 20:16 – Paul was determined not to spend time in Jerusalem by the day of Pentecost (AD,57)
(iii) 1Corith. 16:8 – Paul purposed to stay at Ephesus until Pentecost. (AD 54 or 55) because an effectual (powerful) door was opened to him for his ministry.
Therefore, this day of Feast celebration became an important day called “Pentecost Sunday (whit Sunday) in the church calendar on which we commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit” that empowered the Apostles (Acts 1:8) to make new disciples/followers of Christ, it marked the birth of the church and subsequently led to the growth of the church Spiritually, numerically and geographically.
What is the importance/significance of Pentecost to the followers of Christ?
- It marked the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as per Jesus promise- (Acts 1:8), (John 14:15-18).
- On the Pentecost the church was born in Jerusalem.
- Through the Holy Spirit the believers are empowered to bear witness to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- The Holy Spirit gives gifts to the believers in Christ so that God’s Kingdom would be established throughout the world. (1Cori 12 & 14), (Eph. 4:7-13)
- Through the Indwelling Holy Spirit in believers, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is manifest (Gal. 5:22, 23)- characters of God’s children.
- By the working of the H/S “conviction about sin and righteousness & judgement…”
- Believers need H/S baptism – (Acts 19:1-10), (John 16:5-11)
- Through the H/S the whole body of Jesus Christ (the church) is united (Ephes. 4:1-5)
- It is only through the H/S that new birth is attained into eternal life (Gal. 5:26) (John 3:16ff)
In conclusion, everyone needs to be filled with the H/S in order to bear the fruit of the H/S which is Love, joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness’, Gentleness & self-control (Gala 5:22,23) so that believers are empowered with new life, knowledge and wisdom to do God’s ministry and work of God’s Kingdom effectively and efficiently. Hence everyday it should be Pentecost’s day.
Blessings in Christ Jesus – Amen
Udongo A. F. (Rev. Canon)