T oday our church celebrates the Feast of Pentecost. It is a celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit. The word Pentecost means “fifty”. Pentecost began as a Jewish festival of the wheat harvest in the late European spring. No specific date was set – it took place when the harvest was ready.
Gradually it became customary to celebrate the feast 50 days after the Passover. The feast of “fifty days” henceforth became a time for the Jewish people to celebrate this special relationship with God as His chosen people.
Fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ a man named Gamaliel is reported to have stood up among the Jewish leaders and said “If this enterprise (ie the Christians), this movement of theirs, is of human origin, it will break up of its own accord; but if it does, in fact, come from God, you will be unable to destroy them; but you might find yourself fighting against God.”
Gamaliel, a dedicated Jewish Pharisee, said it all! If this church of ours was the work of human beings only, it would have died a thousand deaths – But we have the Spirit! Today we give thanks for the presence of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit remains with us for better or for worse; despite frailties, mistakes and failings. The Church still lives. This is enough!