Sunday, June 04, 2017

Pentecost, the birth of the church

It's been a party party week-end. Yesterday we celebrated the 70th birthday of a friend at a fabulous surprise event at Hyde Park restaurant carefully planned by her husband and daughters, and today we celebrate the birth of the Christian church. And I would certainly recommend that restaurant--great food and staff.

And today, another birthday party--the church.  We Christians call this day Pentecost (Greek for 50th day) and it's the third of the three big ones--Jesus' birth, his resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit to the apostles to establish the church Jesus had talked about. It is celebrated by Christians all over the world 50 days after Easter, and marks the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles while they were cowering and hiding behind locked doors following Jesus’ resurrection. It falls on a Jewish feast day because it's virtually impossible to understand Christianity if you don't know the basics.

Jesus said to Peter the apostle whose name means rock, "Upon this rock I will build my church." There are all sorts of interpretations of this, just pick one. It's one of the reasons there are 35,000 protestant denominations, Bible and non-denominational churches. And people who claim to read the Bible literally, jump through hoops to say Jesus didn't mean Peter.

But he did established the church as he promised. So guys and gals, let's stop cowering and hiding and celebrate.

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