by Mark Entzminger/ May 11, 2015
May 24, 2015 marks Pentecost, a festival originally celebrated by the people of Israel, but now celebrated by Christians around the world as the day that marked the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Over the course of the next week, you’ll be hearing from some of the most brilliant and insightful kids’ ministry leaders on how to approach the topic of Pentecost in your ministry. But before we dive into how to teach kids about the importance of Pentecost, I thought it would be valuable to take some time to personally reflect on what it means for our own relationship with God as Spirit-filled followers of Christ.
A Brief History Lesson on Pentecost
The Feast of Pentecost was around long before Acts 2. In fact, it was given by Moses almost a millennium and a half before. Pentecost marked the second great pilgrimage festival in the Hebrew year. For Jews, it was a time to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the end of the barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest. Pentecost was a time of great celebration because it meant that fruitfulness and life were assured. God was giving the grain harvest.
In the Jewish year, there are three feasts before Pentecost—Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits. These were fulfilled by Jesus’ death, sinlessness, and resurrection. Three more Jewish holidays occur after Pentecost—Trumpets, Atonement, and the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles. These feasts celebrate the harvest of fall and symbolically represent a time when the dwelling of God is with His people and we shall be with Him forever.
The Significance of Celebrating Pentecost in Our Personal Journey
Here’s one section that stood out to me:
“Pentecost is meant as a perpetual feast simply to be kept in our Christian experience simply because of the fact that we are still in that time of Pentecost prophetically. We have not yet come to the feast of trumpets. We have not yet come to the feast of atonement in the sense of Israel keeping atonement in remembrance of Christ. We’ve not yet come to dwelling eternally with God. But we have come from Passover on the prophetic calendar through Pentecost. Pentecost is meant for us to be kept.”
Are You Celebrating Pentecost Personally?
One of the most difficult things about ministry is that we can oftentimes consume ourselves with telling others about the good news of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit. Leading into Pentecost, my hope is that you will take some time to personally reflect and celebrate what the Holy Spirit’s arrival at Pentecost means for you.
Take time to dwell on the assurance that you are kept by the One who knows you better than anyone else and loves you unconditionally. Celebrate the harvest that God has allowed you to be part of in leading kids to know Him. Thank God for sending the Holy Spirit as a way to know Him here on this earth. Rest in the fact that while there is still work to be done, we can trust in the fact that there will come a day when God’s people will dwell with Him forever.
What are some things you’re learning as you take the time to reflect on the importance of Pentecost?