So, what are we Celebrating? (Part 10, Shavuot and Pentecost)

In the Hebrew calendar, yesterday through tomorrow are the Jewish Holy Days of Shavuot,  referred to in the Gospels as the Feast of Weeks, and known in many Christian denominations as Pentecost.  Shavuot falls fifty days after the Feast of First Fruits, or fifty days after the first Sunday following the day of Passover.  Pentecost falls fifty days after Easter.  Many Rabbis say that Shavuot is the birthday of the nation of Israel.  Many Christian denominations teach that Pentecost is the birthday of the Church.

Approximately 3500 years ago, on the first Shavuot, Moses and the people of Israel (and some Egyptians travelling with them, who began to fear the God of Abraham during the plagues that led up to Passover) had walked thru the desert to encamp a short walk away from Mt. Sinai.  Before encamping near Sinai, they had left Egypt in the middle of the night on the Passover, walked through the Red Sea on dry ground, eaten mannah and quail from Heaven, drank water from the Rock, and defeated the Amalekites.  On this day, they were ready.

On this day God told Moses to ascend the mountain.  God descended in a cloud of think darkness and as He spoke, lightning appeared in the clouds so that the people standing at the foot of the mountain saw the voice.  God declared to Israel the Ten Words of the Covenant, the Ten Commandments.  The Rabbis say this was the betrothal of God and His people.  Afterward, Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders ascended the mountain and ate in the presence of God.  Some prophesied or spoke in other languages.  Two of the elders who stayed behind in the camp also prophesied and they heard the sound of the mighty wind.

Fifteen hundred years later (about 2000 years ago), the Apostles and Jesus’ closest followers had gathered to observe Pentecost (Shavuot) and the Holy Spirit filled them.  They heard the sound of a mighty wind and spoke in languages they did not know.  Since there was a crowd of God fearers and Jews from every nation gathered close enough to see and hear, we can infer that they were all at the Temple.  Some mocked the Disciples, others heard them proclaiming the miracles of God.  Peter preached a sermon and thousands came to understand and believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah (Christ), the Son of God, the King of Israel, the Savior of Humankind.

So, you see, it’s all connected.

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Do you have a Shavuot story, or a Pentecost story, or miracle?  Tell us about it in the comments!

Views and opinions expressed in these writings are my own, unless attributed or documented to someone else, and either way are not necessarily those of my employers.

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