Using the Biblical timeline, Pentecost 2016 begins at sunset on June 11 and concludes at sunset June 12 (this is 50 days after Passover). As we remember the disciples waiting and praying in the ten days between Jesus' ascension and the day of Pentecost, we encourage you to set time aside from June 2-12 to 'count down' and pray for a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life and neighbourhood.
CLICK HERE for a creative way to engage with the countdown and a Pentecost-themed meal plan you can use on June 11 or 12.
GREATMEN Pray will be happening on Saturday June 11.
Our Pentecost Celebrations will conclude with a massive College Sunday with Fremantle Christian College, 9:30am June 12.
PENTECOST - THEN AND NOW
Pentecost is an annual festival in the Biblical Calendar that connects us to the rhythms of God's Story... and it begins way back in the book of Exodus:
Before the Greek name Pentecost came into common use, this festival was known by its Hebrew name, ‘Shavuot’. Shavuot is a harvest festival. Just as the week of Unleavened Bread celebrates the ripening of the barley crop, in a similar way, Shavuot celebrates the ripening of the wheat crop. At Shavuot, the first fruits of the wheat harvest were brought to the Temple and baked into two loaves of leavened bread. The interim forty-nine days of counting are called "the counting of the Omer" because day one begins the harvest of a single barley sheaf (omer) and day forty-nine concludes the harvest of the wheat sheaves. In addition to wheat, the pilgrims celebrating Shavuot brought with them the first fruits of all their crops and offered them before the altar.
We can imagine the disciples and followers of Jesus of Acts 2 joining in this First Fruits procession. The Shavuot festival already carried particular significance for them because it was exactly fifty days after the Messiah had resurrected. He was the First Fruits of the Resurrection [1Cor. 15:20]. In fact, the disciples and followers of Jesus were themselves the First Fruits of Messiah’s ministry. On Shavuot, 3,000 more were added to their number, and the great harvest of souls began.
In Jewish tradition, the Counting of the Omer (the time between Passover and Pentecost/Shavuot) is regarded as a remembrance of the intervening days between the Exodus from Egypt and the revelation of God at Sinai. Therefore, Shavuot became known as the anniversary of God’s appearance at Mount Sinai [Exodus 19:1]. It is thus celebrated as the anniversary of the giving of the Torah [‘instruction’ or ‘law’] with a focus on Exodus 19 and 20. As the disciples of the risen Messiah gathered to celebrate Shavuot in Jerusalem, they were also gathering to celebrate the anniversary of the Giving of the 'Living Torah' - God's eternal Word, Jesus Christ.
Adapted from www.ffoz.org
On the day of Pentecost that Acts 2 describes, the meaning of Shavuot was radically altered for those first disciples and for all who would follow. They were filled with the Holy Spirit in an unprecedented way and empowered to be witnesses of the good news. A revival was sparked in Jerusalem, with thousands declaring their trust in Jesus. Not long after, this Holy Spirit fire would spread to the nations.
The famous sermon of that Pentecost day came from the mouth of Peter. He wasn’t a professional preacher, or a revivalist, or a scholar. He was a brash, fearful fisherman. An ordinary man. His love for Jesus was weak but sincere, and God delighted to immerse him in the Holy Spirit and release the testimony of Jesus through his lips with great power. God delights in you! What is the Lord wanting to do in and through you?