Thought for the Day: The name Pentecost is really associated with a Christian holiday, the day the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and gave birth to the church. At the same time, the Jewish religion (of which the disciples still belonged) was celebrating the Feast of Weeks. It came 50 days after Passover (Pentecost means 50), and Greek writers would sometimes use it to describe this Feast Day. This is all to say that it wasn’t surprising for the Disciples to be in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost/Feast of Weeks. The Jewish faith expected for all Jewish males to make pilgrimage to Jerusalem for this holiday, among other things to give an offering of thanksgiving. During the holiday, it was common for the Book of Ruth to be read. Imagine the disciples hearing a story being read where an outsider, someone who no one expected to bring anything to the story of faith, would in fact become this amazing vision of devotion, compassion and perseverance. And she would later become the great grandmother of King David. It is a story of the unimaginable not intimidating God. For the disciples of Jesus who were feeling a bit lost and uncertain about the future, the story of Ruth would have been empowering. You can imagine them saying to themselves, “Maybe God can use us.” What stories in scripture are empowering for you? Where do you, once again, need to hear a story of God using someone who everyone else had dismissed?
Prayer: Speak through the scriptures, O Spirit of Pentecost. Remind me of how you do not follow the rules of this world when it comes to who you believe is worthy of your calling. Amen.
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Rev. Bruce Frogge