Monday, May 16, 2005

Pentecost/Church Birthday

At mass yesterday, the priest begun with "happy birthday" and then explained to us bewildered congregants about the Pentecost/birthday connection. I also saw a few Pentecost-birthday posts on a few sites in Christian blogsphere.

I have to say that this is the very first time in my life that I have ever heard that. Weird, uh! I think I see where it is coming from but it still doesn't quite sound right.

My criteria for Christianity, by extension "Church" membership/inclusion is twofold, confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead. As soon as the resurrection occured and Jesus ascended to the Father, not Acts 1, but John 20, which was right after the resurrection, then it was possible to believe that God raised him from the dead. In fact, you could believe before that, it's just that the Bible presents the priestly aspect of Christ going into the holy place in heaven and doing his priestly thing on our behalf.

Anyway, my point is that Pentecost is the start of something, but I can't get with the Church birthday thing only because as soon as Christ was raised and people believed, there was a Church. I'm not making a huge point here because it really doesn't make any difference. This is one of those, "so how does this affect the price of fish?" type observations.


Blogger Ambrose said...

The Happy Birthday church bit I've heard before, and I thought it would be better for the little kids rather than the adults. It was too cute. But I do think Pentecost is the birth of the Church. Without it, the witnesses may not have gone forth and made believers of the world.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Ono said...

I am trying to get with it. It definitely is a part of the beginnings of the Church, but . . .

I think it also has to do with one's view of what the Church is.

8:24 PM  
Blogger greg said...

I mentioned in Sunday School (I hate that term) yesterday that the giving of the Holy Spirit occurred first in John's Gospel, not at Pentecost. Were there women in the Upper Room? If so, they received it there as well. However, I tend to see Pentecost as an affirmation of what Ono has stated, that this "thing" is available to all: gentiles, slaves, women, and any who had been marginalized by the religious hegemony prior to Pentecost.

11:02 PM  
Blogger English Blogger (Davie B) said...

I guess its just a way of marking a day, hey you guys have a Million Saints days a year?

Christmas is another day that is marked, but we choose Dec 25th because pagens in England where celebrating a winter festival at that time. Easter is moved around to mark teh first full moon after something or another, so Easter is either March or April, so Assention is 40 days after that and Penticost is 7 days after that.

Hey the Holy Spirt is with each of us now, just Pray, " Lord Jesus please bless me with your Holy Spirt now." and guess what he will, because he loves you. No Saints needed, no priests to mediate for you, Just you and Jesus and a person relationship is all that is needed.

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember that scripture tells us that "no one can say that 'Jesus is Lord' except by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Even after the apostles witnessed the resurrection and the ascension, they still didn't understand what it was all about. They still didn't get that Jesus was LORD. They couldn't confess with confidence that Jesus Christ was the Lord until the Christ sent the Paraclete to empower them to proclaim the truth that theretofore had been rattling around in their brains but hadn't yet coalesced.

So, that's why Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. Just like a baby exists from the moment of conception, the Church existed--as Ono observes--from the moment Christ rose and people believed. BUT, just like the baby is born into the world on its birthday, the knowledge and the power to proclaim the truth of Christ's Lordship was not conveyed until Pentecost, and that's when the church--nascent until then--was fully birthed.

Just my 2cents.

God Bless,

9:05 PM  

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