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The Day of Pentecost

This year the final day of Easter: the day of Pentecost is May 24. This is the third most important day in the church year. We use the three-year lectionary, thus every year on every Sunday of Easter the first reading is from the book of Acts. What seems at first a curious fact, is that only at the end of the Great Fifty Days is Acts 2:1-21 read. In other words, the season seems to trace the formation of the church through time but only on the very last Sunday reports the birth of the church on the Day of Pentecost. From the perspective of logic, this seems unjustified until two things are understood.

First, the ordering is theological, not chronological: Reading from the book of Acts throughout the Great Fifty Days is a sturdy affirmation that the church is built upon the resurrection and its proclamation by the people of faith. The resurrection is central, not subsidiary, to the formation and growth of the church.

Second, the Day of Pentecost is a summarizing occasion, not an inaugural occasion. Contrary to understandings in the past (which say this Day as the beginning of a new season called “Whitsuntide” or “the Season of Pentecost”), now the Day of Pentecost is viewed as it was in ancient times, as the closing of the annual Easter festival. As such, the day of Pentecost is an occasion for recapitulation. No New Testament passage so fully recapitulates the nature of the church in the power of the Spirit as does Acts 2:1-21.

The Day of Pentecost in our worship lifts up the church as a corporate community. The Day is, to use the terms of formal theology, “ecclesiological in focus.” The Day of Pentecost is not about the work of the Spirit in the hearts of individual believers. It is about the formation of the church out of a frightened band of followers who are thrust out by the Sprit into the streets of Jerusalem to proclaim the gospel in terms everyone could recognize.

The Day of Pentecost lifts up the church as a community called together by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit calls us to discipleship of Jesus Christ and to the church of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. It is not something we choose to do or choose not to do, but something to which we are called.

In response to the grace and mercy of our Lord we participate in the church not so much for what we can get out of it, but for what we can give as an alternative to the dominant ways of the world.

- Portions of this article came from Calendar, Christ’s time for the Church, Laurence Stooky, Abingdon Press, 1996

In Christ,

—Pastor Ernie

news & events

June 11Men’s Breakfast

Thursday, June 11 at 7:00 AM at Gregg’s BBQ in Statesville.

June 13Community Breakfast

8 AM—10 AM in St. John's Fellowship Hall. Come & bring your neighbor—Donations accepted to benefit Iredell Christian & 5th Street Ministries

July 10WINGS Exec Board Meeting

Friday, July 10: WINGS Exec Board Meeting @ 9:30 am, Conference Room

August 15Spa Day

Saturday, August 15: Spa Day, 8:30 am — 1:00 pm; Theme: Branded: Women of God

August 18Bloodmobile

Tuesday, August 18: Bloodmobile, in fellowship hall; 2-6:30 pm

August 28 & 29Lay Minister's Equipping Seminar

St. John’s will be hosting a Lay Minister’s Equipping Seminar on August 28 & 29. This 2-day seminar is offered to those interested in becoming a Lay Minister, or those who wish to know more about this caring ministry. Mark your calendars and prayerfully consider if this is a ministry for you. Details can be found on the Lay Ministry bulletin board outside the office, soon. See Marianne Wiegman for more information.

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Sunday, May 24—Pentecost

9:30 am Sunday School (all ages)
10:30 am Worship

Monday, May 25—Memorial Day

Office closed

Tuesday, May 26

7:00 pm Yokefellow Meeting

Wednesday, May 27

6:00 pm Youth
6:30 pm Handbells
7:30 pm Chancel Choir

Thursday, May 28

12:00 pm Lunch, Scripture & Prayer
6:30 pm Civitans

Friday, May 29—Saturday, May 30

NALC Convocation in Gastonia

Sunday, May 31

9:30 am Sunday School (all ages)
10:30 am Worship


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