Paul shares a message of the Solemnity of Pentecost–the descent of … Christophe Boisvieux/Getty Images. The Holy Spirit continues to guide the Church. It is the festival observed by Jews, Shavuoth, sometimes called in the Old Testament the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22; Leviticus 23:15; Numbers 28:26; Deuteronomy 16:9-12). While with them, he said: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. Today is the birthday of our Father, National Head of COPUSA, and the Americas/Caribbean RCC Coordinator, Apostle Michael Agyemang-Amoako - … The resurrected Jesus himself orders the apostles to stay in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit. A mosaic of the Pentecost in the Basilica of Monreale in Sicily. The word Pentecost comes from a Greek word meaning fiftieth. Stephen Freeman It is a commonplace in some circles to celebrate Pentecost as the Church’s “Birthday.” It is well-intentioned, perhaps even true in some sense, but tends to render the Church as something it is not. Pentecost, birthday of the Christian Church Pic: Gerd Altmann Pixabay . Christophe Boisvieux/Getty Images. Pope Francis teaches us about the true meaning of this wonderful feast in the Church’s year. Pentecost serves, like every birthday celebration, to remind us that our lives are defined by love, relationships, memories and plans for the future. Cardinal Seán’s most recent pastoral letter to the Church of Boston, “A New Pentecost: Inviting All to Follow Jesus” opens with just that image. It does talk about the Church, though, and along the way it gives a very different view of the Church’s origins. It can be a time for reflection. Pentecost is when the Christian church received, and was empowered to carry out, its grand assignment of evangelism. The Holy Spirit continues to guide the Church. On this day, the Day of Pentecost, we celebrate the birthday of the Church of Jesus Christ. Pentecost is our birthday as a believing people. That, in itself, was an event worth celebrating, but it did not just happen for the Apostles’ edification. Pentecost Sunday is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church, celebrated early enough to be mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (20:16) and St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (16:8). And like any birthday, it's a cause for celebration. After all, it was on this day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles. The story of the Pentecost miracle tells us that God is present in the world again. Jesus’ words were fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. The day of Pentecost arrived exactly fifty days after the resurrection of Christ. Other names for the day are the Feast of the Harvest and Day of First Fruits (Exodus 23:16; Numbers 28:26). The authority that Christ gave his Apostles through the Holy Spirit extends through the bishops today. Birth of the church is a good metaphor for the day of Pentecost although the Bible does not use it. “If I am lifted up,” Jesus said, “I will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32). Just as God was present in His son Jesus, God is now present through His Holy Spirit. Facebook Twitter Pinterest On Sunday May 24, Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the great outpouring of the Spirit, the birthday of the Church, if you like. Perhaps in previous years we have got together and we’ve celebrated the fact that 2000 years later Jesus is still building his church. It certainly is a seminal event in the book of Acts, for at that time the twelve apostles (Matthias has just replaced Judas Iscariot, 1:24-26) are filled with the Holy Spirit, they speak so that those gathered in Jerusalem from all over the world can understand, Peter preaches, and 3000 people are baptized (2:1-41). Pentecost is the beginning of the Christian Church. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5). It is an apt metaphor: The Church, which you could say had been growing in utero in the persons of Mary, the Twelve, and the small community of disciples, now emerges into the world. Many Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit in worship activities on Pentecost, or as it is sometimes called, Whitsunday. Paul, for example, does not refer to it in any of his letters. SUNDAY, MAY 31: The ancient feast of Pentecost is marked with red drapery and vestments, symbols of the Holy Spirit, processions and holy sacraments. I too have heard that Pentecost is the birthday of the church. For this reason, Pentecost is sometimes referred to as the “birthday of the Christian church.” The mission given to Christians on Pentecost still stands, thousands of years later. Everything is a gift meant to be used fully and joyfully to our benefit and that of those around us. That is the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Pentecost was to be observed in ancient Israel on the 50th day after the priest waved a selected sheaf of the first grain that had been harvested in the spring (Leviticus 23:15-21). These items which we use to celebrate a birthday are also going to help us to remember what happened in the church on the day of Pentecost. . A Presbyterian pastor Rev. The Rev. 2. Thus begins the movement--predicted by Jesus--in which the apostles bear witness "in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (1:8 CEB). Dr. Stephen De Young is Pastor of Archangel Gabriel Orthodox Church in Lafayette, Louisiana. The three key words in the above question are “Pentecost,” “birthday,” and “Church.” Let’s start with the “Church.” The Greek word for “church” is ekklesia, and in Scripture it simply means a group of people called out for a purpose. Fr. For a Catholic perspective see, http://www.americancatholic.org/messenger/jun2003/Family.asp, http://www.aquinasandmore.com/catholic-articles/pentecost-the-birth-of-the-church/article/275, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markdroberts/pages/about/, http://www.truthortradition.com/articles/is-the-day-of-pentecost-the-birthday-of-the-church, http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/06/is-pentecost-birthday-of-church.html, https://garynealhansen.com/ispentecostthebirthdayofthechurch/, http://www.reformedworship.org/article/march-1988/pentecost-birthday-church. Each year we often hear that Pentecost is the “birthday” of the Church. While we admit the significance of the public unveiling of the body of Christ to the world, Pentecost is not really a birthday. And like any birthday, it's a cause for celebration. As such, it is the “birthday” of the Church, in other words, the beginning. It began at Pentecost. I couldn't follow the argument and have always been used to hearing that Pentecost IS the birthday of the Church. It is thus these men form the foundation of the church. Because you are part of the body of the Church, Pentecost is the Church's birthday, and yours as well. Can anyone explain? And when she does, we can already glimpse all of the distinguishing features by which she will be known as an adult. Perhaps the Holy Spirit came on the Jewish day of Shavuoth, or Pentecost, to signal that God had now moved to write the Law not on tables of stone, but in the hearts of his people through the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3). This name is said to arise from the ancient practice of newly baptized individuals wearing white robes during this time. Pentecost is often spoken of as the “birth” of the Church. The so called "Big Os": 40; 50, etc. Pentecost: 3,500 Years Ago (Moses) Pentecost: 2,000 Years Ago (Jesus) The Jews are gathered at Sinai. That baptism of the Spirit would be called the birthday of the church. Today we contemplate and re … The authority that Christ gave his Apostles through the Holy Spirit extends through the bishops today. And what are we celebrating exactly? The reference to the event as the "birthday of the church" is, so far as I know, a more informal label, not an official one. 2. He is more focused on the death, resurrection, and especially the, Although I prefer not to speak of Pentecost--or any day, for that matter--as the "birthday of the church," I wholeheartedly support celebrating Pentecost Sunday as an important event in the church year. Get started with Bible study here. The Heidelberg Catechism (the 450 year old Reformed summary of biblical Christianity on which I blog valiantly and relentlessly) does not even consider the possibility that Pentecost is the Church’s birthday. Pentecost- Year A May 31st, 2020 Pentecost is the BIRTHDAY OF THE CHURCH!16 Acts 2:1-11 1When the time for Pentecost This was one of three pilgrim feasts that required the adult men of Israel to travel to Jerusalem to worship in the Temple. In its 89 uses in the epistles written to Christians, it refers either to individual groups of Christian believers or to all Christians as a body. The coming of the Spirit into human hearts and minds on that Day of Pentecost in the early 30s was God’s sign that in Christ he was creating a new people — a new Israel — an Israel of the Spirit (Galatians 6:16) that included Jews and Gentiles alike. Prayers of joy and thanksgiving for all churches, yours and mine, for big ones and little ones, for old ones and new ones, for ones that have rock bands and ones that celebrate with Gregorian chant. The day that the church really got its start. About Fr. Help us continue by donating here. These two loaves were symbols of the two bodies from which the church was to be formed: the Jews and the Gentiles. A mosaic of the Pentecost in the Basilica of Monreale in Sicily. Pentecost is called the birthday of the church. Certainly today we need a fresh infusion of the Spirit so that we "demonstrate God's goodness to everyone" (Act. Instead the church is founded; they are a group; they are together. The disciples hear God’s instruction from Jesus. This weekend Christians around the world will be celebrating Pentecost which marks the coming of the Holy Spirit among the disciples of Jesus. Unless indicated otherwise, all scripture quotations on this website are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. I heard a Christian podcast arguing the Pentecost is not the birthday of the Church. The fellowship that was built around Jesus when he lived here on earth, died and rose from the dead was to be extended to the entire world. It is an empowerment of a group, not of isolated followers.Think of the difference it would be if Jesus instead had ordered every one of them to go to their individual homes, and there they would receive the Holy Spirit. And Catholic blogs are no exception on this Pentecost - often referred to as "The Birthday of the Church". Blow out the candles (gently) and turn from the cake, saying, well, that's the story of Pentecost. Now, as we turn to Chapter 2, we find that the figure is changed. We call it the day of Pentecost and it is when we remember the day when God sent the Holy Spirit to his people just as Jesus had promised that he would. Want to learn more? Jesus stays with His followers for 40 days to instruct. This body of Christ is the group that was born at Pentecost where the gift of the Spirit was first received. Majority opinion, but not universally held . Facebook Twitter Pinterest On Sunday May 24, Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the great outpouring of the Spirit, the birthday of the Church, if you like. See, I wish to "cast my lot," so to speak, with the dissenters: It is not particularly helpful to speak of Pentecost as the birthday of the church. God would form the Church, the precious body and bride of Christ, which would have a presence on earth for the next two thousand years. It’s been a different birthday season; certainly subdued, and certainly a little bit muted. . Posted . Light the candles on the cake and sing (to the tune of 'Happy Birthday'): Thank God for his love, Thank God for his love, For the gift of his Spirit, Thank God for his love. It ranks, after Easter, as the second festival of the church, and there are references to its celebration as early as the 4th century. The church, the body of Christ, is not found in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament saints (believers) are not in anyway part of the body of Christ. Pentecost: "The Birthday of the Church" As you get older, birthdays get more difficult. Why is it important to the Church? It certainly is a seminal event in the book of Acts, for at that time the twelve apostles (Matthias has just replaced Judas Iscariot, 1:24-26) are filled with the Holy Spirit, they speak so that those gathered in Jerusalem from all over the world can understand, Peter preaches, and 3000 people are baptized (2:1-41). The following section from the Pentecostarion translated by Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Allow me to wish you all Happy Birthday today as we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost, the day that the risen Christ fulfilled His promise and sent the new life of the Holy Spirit upon the Church and brought the Church to life. "Even though the Church was at the food of the cross in the persons of the Blessed Mother and John," the apostles were afraid to speak to others about Christ. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. Pentecost from the earliest days of the Church has been known as the Birthday of the Church. The events of this day would be some of the most significant events in human history. The Church is the Body of Christ, and that Body is formed by the work of the Holy Spirit of which Paul speaks in the epistle appointed for today: Seven weeks elapsed between the day of the wave sheaf offering and the beginning of Pentecost, thus the name of the festival — the Feast of Weeks. Those who … Pentecost is considered birthday of the Church by: “Pentecost is regarded as the birthday of the Christian church, and the start of the church’s mission to the world.” “because Pentecost is w… https://allsaintsbythesea.org/pentecost-birthday-of-the-church The indwelling Spirit, the Comforter or Advocate Jesus had sent, was replacing the external “schoolmaster” Law of Moses that had supervised ancient Israel’s worship under the old covenant (Galatians 3:23-25). This is why Pentecost is known as the birthday of the Christian church. Related to this is the fact that God has one pe The "Pentecost" event described in the Acts of the Apostles (chapter 2) is often referred to in liturgical tradition also as "Whitsunday," or the Feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit" narrated there in Acts. So no, Pentecost is not the birthday of the Church. At the first Pentecost over 3000 people were baptized, creating the first church. To treat it as such in effect transposes Marcion's biblical heresy into an ecclesiastical key, for it is not possible to reject the people of the Old Testament without simultaneously rejecting the Old Testament itself. A writer from an "Orthodox perspective" argues that the Church Fathers held that the Church had no beginning but that it existed before all things. Even if they would receive this Spirit at the same time, it would be quite different. The Monthly Newsletter of Holy Trinity–St. Paul has just said that this body of Christ is where “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” ( 1 Cor. Is it muted this year? Pentecost is the definitive creation of the Church in all her fullness. Fr. Pentecost is the birthday of the church, and this Sunday is Pentecost, so celebrate! Pentecost is regarded as the birthday of the Christian church © Pentecost is the festival when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Church first began its life on Pentecost, when some 3,000 people were baptized. While it has become something of a commonplace to refer to the second Pentecost of Acts 2 as ‘the birthday of the church,’ some have objected that the church had already existed. Copyright Massachusetts Bible Society © 2021    Registered 501(c)(3). Just as God was present in His son Jesus, God is now present through His Holy Spirit. Here the church is no longer a building, but a body. Because you are part of the body of the Church, Pentecost is the Church's birthday, and yours as well. You will need a white iced birthday cake decorated with a number of 'magic' re-lighting candles (available from party shops and some department stores). All of this shows how the New Testament has its roots in the Old. Today is Pentecost Sunday – it’s the Birthday of the Christian Church! Is it subdued? The call of Abraham and the covenant with Israel at Sinai rule out any thought of Pentecost as the birthday of the people of God. The word Pentecost is Greek and it means "50th day." Especially the ones ending in "0". This is why Pentecost is known as the birthday of the Christian church. The story of the Pentecost miracle tells us that God is present in the world again. Pentecost is often called the birthday of the Church is because it was then that the Good News of Christ was first proclaimed to the multitudes beyond those who had followed Christ during his life. Pentecost does not diminish the message that each person is unique and special in the eyes of God, but magnifies the unity of one church, many members, and one body. Here in this exciting chapter we have the story of the birth of the corporate body of Jesus Christ. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4), and the apostle Peter preached his first sermon, urging the crowds to repent, to believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (verse 38). That baptism of the Spirit would be called the birthday of the church. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church because from that point on the apostles carried the message of Christ to the whole world. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church because from that point on the apostles carried the message of Christ to the whole world. Stephen De Young Rev. Was there ever a greater birth day? Pentecost is a birthday, the anniversary of the covenant which has created God’s people Israel. It is a group for the effective work of the church, but the gifts for that health and mission of the body are given to the individual members. Pentecost is often spoken of as the “birth” of the Church. At the first Pentecost over 3000 people were baptized, creating the first church. The Church is the Body of Christ, and that Body is formed by the work of the Holy Spirit of which Paul speaks in the epistle appointed for today: And like any birthday, it's a cause for celebration. The Christian holiday of Pentecost, which is celebrated the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) from Easter Sunday, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31). The day called Pentecost is named after the Greek word pentekostos, which means 50th. Most of our Christian holidays have some antecedent in some other religious tradition. What is Pentecost? In the Christian liturgical year, Pentecost is the seventh Sunday after Easter and closes the Easter season. This precious gift of faith in the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ is the reason Pentecost is the third “mega-festival” of the church and why we celebrate it with such joy and thanksgiving. They are a body gathered together, but each member receives the gift of the Holy SpiritSimilarly, Paul calls the “church” "the body of Christ” and each one “individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12.27-28). That is why Pentecost is also called the birthday of the Church. Dispensational theology on the other hand, teaches that the church was born on the Day of Pentecost and did not exist in history until that time. There's a sense in which Pentecost is the Church's birthday. It is then that they will receive the “power” that they need to carry out their mission (Acts  1.8). Monday morning’s prayer, starting at 8.50 a.m., lead by our Year 6 Leaders will focus on Pentecost. There were of course essential previous events–the birth and earthly ministry of Jesus, and what directly precedes Pentecost. Pentecost from the earliest days of the Church has been known as the Birthday of the Church. This festival had come to signify for Jews the commemoration of the giving of the Law of Moses (the Torah) at Mount Sinai in the third month after the Exodus Passover (Exodus 20–24). St. Paul calls the Church the “pillar and ground of truth.” May we walk in the presence and power of the Spirit in this season of Pentecost! The word Pentecost is Greek and it means "50th day." Pentecost: Birthday of the Church. Today we contemplate and re … While we admit the significance of the public unveiling of the body of Christ to the world, Pentecost is not really a birthday. Each member nevertheless is a significant part of it. I too have heard that Pentecost is the birthday of the church. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4), and the apostle Peter preached his first sermon, urging the crowds to repent, to believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (verse 38). This is the external birth of the Church when she can be seen by all. I would say that the "majority opinion" is that Pentecost is the "birthday of the church." Pentecost is considered birthday of the Church by: “Pentecost is regarded as the birthday of the Christian church, and the start of the church’s mission to the world.” “because Pentecost is w… Though Pentecost originates from the Greek translation of the Jewish springtime festival now celebrated as Shauvot, it has long been observed by Christians as the birthday of their church. Dr. Bob Honeychurch, Interim Rector. The word Pentecost comes from a Greek word meaning fiftieth. Today is the birthday of our Father, National Head of COPUSA, and the Americas/Caribbean RCC Coordinator, Apostle Michael Agyemang-Amoako - … The Jews are gathered in Jerusalem. Pentecost came at the end of the wheat harvest in Palestine, and they were to take this new wheat, the first fruits of the harvest, and bake of it two loaves. Lines from Handbook of the Christian Year (Abingdon, 1986) repeat a widespread notion about the meaning of Pentecost: "For Christians, Pentecost commemorated the birthday of the church…" (p. 21). And I wonder if we might feel the same about Pentecost, the church’s birthday? That very day, some 3,000 people were baptized as the people of God (verse 41). This opinion is not universally held, however. It is true that the ekklesia , or assembly, of Israel existed from that day of the first Pentecost when the people assembled to be sprinkled by Moses with the blood of the covenant (Ex 24:8). 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