Pentecost is the fiftieth day after Easter, this year, June 4, and we will celebrate Pentecost by wearing red (if we have red to wear or perhaps pink) and by reading Scripture together, some of us in other languages. But why do we do this? Why is Pentecost important?
After his death on the cross and his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and gave them proof that he was alive. He told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit, from whom they would receive power to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. Jesus ascended to heaven and the disciples returned to Jerusalem and joined together in prayer in an upper room.
Acts 2: 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.
We celebrate Pentecost to recognize the gift of the Holy Spirit to the believers, to all believers, to “everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” We bear witness to this gift on Pentecost by wearing red to symbolize the color of the tongues of the flames that rested on each disciple; and we bear witness to this gift by speaking in other languages - modern languages today - by those who have the ability, to symbolize the diversity of languages that were spoken in the upper room.