We strive to know Christ more deeply and bring others to his redeeming grace.
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” (Acts 2:1-4, NRSV).
I am looking forward to celebrating my second Pentecost with you all. What I love about Pentecost is that it celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit in an expression of the universality of the gospel, for people of all cultures and languages. As such Pentecost heralds the birth of the Church.
You may have heard Pentecost referred to as Whitsunday. This was reference to the eve of Pentecost as a possible date for baptism. This is still the practice now when Pentecost is often an alternate day for baptisms. My daughter was baptized as an infant on Pentecost and she wore a tiny little red sailor dress in honor of the day. Traditionally though, catechumens would wear white, the color of baptismal garments (even though on our calendar the liturgical color is red). “White” plus “Sunday” became Whitsunday.
A second thing Pentecost is known for is tongues of fire, which
appear on the forehead of each believer. Fire is a common symbol
for God in the Bible. These tongues of fire that apparently shine
but do not burn remind me of Moses’ encounter with the fiery
bush, which is aflame but not consumed. The Holy One is also
encountered as fire on Sinai and as a pillar of fire in wilderness.
A type of angel, Seraphim are apparently fire spirits as helpers of
the divine. Who knew?
Third, we identify Pentecost with that mighty wind, which can also be translated as breath, wind or spirit. As Christians we identify this as the Spirit of the risen Christ. Imagine the effect the wind might have had on the fire. The Holy Spirit likewise meets us in our unique needs and fans the flame of our belief.
Pentecost is especially important to us here and now at St. Bede as we begin the process of congregational discernment. Pay attention to how the Spirit is leading you to tell the story of God’s work at St. Bede and help us discern where it might be leading us together. You are invited to share this important time together on June 11 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Our community will be celebrating the day with reading the story of Pentecost in different languages. There will also be a special photo op with the entire congregation that day which is our annual Pentecost tradition. Finally, we will have streamers for the young and young at heart to wave whenever the Spirit moves you, but especially when the words “Holy Spirit” are used in the liturgy.
We also hope you will come to Evening Prayer and the concert by Lasana Kanneh on Pentecost at 4 p.m.
May the God’s Spirit alight upon us all,
ST. BEDE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
1609 Elm St. Forest Grove, OR
MESSAGE FROM OUR VICAR