But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.
– John 16:13, NIV
This Sunday is Pentecost. The “big” holidays in the life of the church are Easter and Christmas. Christmas focuses on the birth of Christ and the incarnation. Easter focuses on the resurrection of Christ following his crucifixion on Good Friday. But what about Pentecost? Does that have something to do with Pentecostal churches? Don't Presbyterians focus on predestination as opposed to Pentecost? These are all good questions.
Pentecost comes from the word fiftieth. It is the Greek name given to the Feast of Weeks which is called that because it fell on the fiftieth day after Passover. In our Old Testament, at this feast the first fruits of the corn harvest were presented, and later, the giving of the law by Moses was also commemorated.
However, when the Holy Spirit comes upon the apostles in the early church as it is talked about in Acts 2, Pentecost was celebrated by the early church as the feast celebrating this event. In our church calendar, the lectionary reading for this day not only includes Acts 2, but also Ezekiel 37 and the story of the dry bones coming to life. But the gospel reading for today is from the gospel of John, and that's what we'll be focusing on this Sunday.
Often when churches focus on Pentecost, there is a focus on the Holy Spirit. We ask questions like what is the Holy Spirit or who is the Holy Spirit? What does the Holy Spirit have to do with the Trinity -- God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? This Sunday we're going to be focusing on trying to understand what it means when Jesus talks about “the Spirit of truth” and how does that relate to us today? For example, in an age of fake news, how can the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, help us to discern what is really true? So, join us this Sunday for worship either Online, Drive-in (9:30 a.m.) , or Indoors (11:00 a.m.). I hope you read the email or letter we sent out to the congregation Tuesday about relaxing our policies on mask and social distancing indoors for those who have been fully vaccinated. You can click here if you want to read that again.