If I were creating human beings as God did in the beginning of time, I’d add a part that I think God forgot to include. He put a belly button on our abdomen, but I’d have a button on each person’s chest. The button would be like Siri on my new iPhone. Press it and “Presto!” I could ask my brain to speak in whatever language I needed at the moment. I could ask it to translate what I am hearing. I could ask it questions and the button would activate a response! Isn’t that what God did for the people in the temple on that first Pentecost Sunday around AD70? With the help of the Holy Spirit, the people spoke in languages previously unknown to them.
This coming Sunday, May 27,2012, is known on the Christian calendar as Pentecost Sunday. Catholics and Protestants alike celebrate this Holy Day. On the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox calendars, the date for Pentecost Sunday is June 3rd. Historically it is the day the Holy Spirit descended with tongues of fire on the apostles and other followers of Jesus. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday. It commemorates the “Birthday of the Church.” Red is the ceremonial color of Pentecost, depicting the color of the flame – and the movement of the Holy Spirit. The ways in which churches celebrate this event in its liturgical calendar are as rich and varied as the churches are themselves. Red flowers might adorn the alters, symbolizing the renewal of life, the coming of the warmth of summer, and the growth of the church at and from the first Pentecost. Music that is especially composed for Pentecost often is performed on this special day. I will sing with a small group of friends. Our song is an example of a Pentecostal message. The words are beautiful:
(Refrain) Send down the fire of your justice,
Send down the rains of your love;
Come send down the Spirit, breathe life in your people,
and we shall be the people of God.
(Verse One) Call us to be your compassion,
Teach us the song of your love;
Give us hearts that sing,
Give us deeds that ring,
Make us ring with the song of your love.
(Verse Two) Call us to learn of your mercy,
Teach us the way of your peace;
Give us hearts that feel,
Give us hands that heal,
Make us walk in the way of your peace.
There are two other verses, each as beautiful as these. If you Google “Send Down the Fire,” you will discover other songs with that title, but the one with these words that I appreciated most is found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wai-9zpmXQY. The students are listed as LOMC Swing Choir Tour — 2009. Their motions add to the meaning of the lyrics. I have asked what LOMC stands for and am awaiting an answer. Meantime, I encourage you to go and celebrate this Pentecost Sunday with the true meaning of the day. Join these YouTube singers with “hearts that sing” and “hearts that feel.” Move into the world with “deeds that ring” and “hands that heal” as you walk in the way of Christ’s peace. Be His compassion!
You may not have a Siri button built into your chest. You may not be able to speak in tongues and be understood in all kinds of languages, but you have a love button built into your chest. It was planted there by the Holy Spirit. Go out this Pentecost Sunday and use your love to teach others of God’s mercy and His desire for us to live together as one people throughout the world – working for peace on earth.
I am only one person and I can’t do everything, but I am one who can make a difference to one. Maybe the one will be you. Happy Pentecost Sunday. Use your love button! God Bless You.