25 May 2022 • Articles
Christians should be people of joy, especially during Eastertide when the resurrection of Jesus is being celebrated. Easter shows that God is always with us, and if we believe and trust in God we will always be with him, in the joy of eternal life.
At the beginning of June our celebrations of Easter are being drawn into thoughts of Christ's Ascension. On the day of the Ascension Jesus returned to his Father in heaven after the forty resurrection days when he had been able to talk with his friends again and teach them so much which they had not understood before. Jesus knew that his friends would need courage and help to do the work he was asking them to do, so on Ascension Day he promised that the Holy Spirit would give them the wisdom, the power, the strength, the gifts and the grace they needed.
On Whit Sunday, the day of the Feast of Pentecost, the disciples gathered together in a room in Jerusalem. As they prayed, each of the disciples felt God's Holy Spirit filling them with the fire and warmth of courage and real love for God. Forgetting their fears, they went straight out to talk to the people of Jerusalem and to the visitors and the hundreds of pilgrims who were in the city for the spring festival. God's grace inspired the disciples to forget their shyness and their fears, helping them to talk about Jesus so bravely and sincerely that three thousand new believers joined them and were baptised on that first day of Pentecost.
This year Pentecost, or Whit Sunday, is on 5th June. Baptisms and confirmation services often used to take place on this Sunday because of its special association with hearing the Gospel and receiving the Holy Spirit. This gave the day the name of Whit Sunday because it was traditional for baptism and confirmation candidates to wear white clothes for the ceremony. Pentecost is a more ancient name for the same day, reminding us of the work, power, teaching, grace and gifts of the Holy Spirit: this gives us the modern tradition of dressing in red, the colour of fire. Whatever colour you would like to wear, join the Sunday celebrations and be joyful!
With every blessing for the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your life,