Easter is 50 Days; the Day of Pentecost is the 50th day of Easter
The church's year of grace features a trio of major festivals that relate to each Person of the Trinity/Godhead:
• Christmas – Nativity – Creation
• Resurrection – Easter – Redemption
• Pentecost – Whitsunday – Sanctification / Theosis
Next week we'll celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity; after that we'll segue into the long, winding, growing greening season Ordinary Time, also known as the Time of the Church.
Last week we discussed Jesus' Ascension and the conversation (again!) beforehand. His earthly disciples asked Jesus if at this time he would "restore the kingdom to Israel," and Jesus told them to wait for the Descent of the HS and they would be his witnesses. In other words, they would help "restore the kingdom."
Remember the Golden Calf Event in Exodus 32? God said, "Moses, your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt." Moses replied, "God, your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt." Which is it? Moses' people or God's people? It's both/and.
Discussion of Icons and Images of the HS:
dove / wind / fire. Peace, comfort. Fire sears, burns, purifies. A year after a wildfire, new seedlings cover the forest floor. Some seeds need to be singed by fire in order to open. Controlled, prescribed burning by the Forest Service. Different forms wind takes. Do we resist the wind or move in its direction? Sun in your face, wind at your back?
In his book of the Acts of the Apostles Luke brings us the only scriptural account of the Day of Pentecost. The HS is prominent throughout Luke's gospel (and in Acts, of course). The apostle Paul and the gospel of John also tell us a lot about the HS.
Jesus says we will be his witnesses. What does witnessing mean? What does a witness do? Courtroom. The 12th apostle needed to be a "witness to the resurrection," someone who has experienced the risen Christ.
The past two weeks we've talked about the Church as the Exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the World. With its senses the world can witness – see, hear, touch, taste, smell – the church, and in the church's activity, hopefully the world will recognize the presence of God's Kingdom.
Will you at this time restore the kingdom? The question is wrong! Wait here in Jerusalem, and you shall be my witnesses. The HS makes witness possible. The converse? Without the HS there is no witness.