On Sunday, May 23, the Christian Church will celebrate Pentecost, which is observed 50 days following Easter (hence the Greek prefix for five, Pent).
The day celebrates the events we read about in the Book of Acts, when Jewish pilgrims from throughout the Near East came to Jerusalem for Shavuot (the Festival of Weeks), to celebrate the first fruits of the harvest and commemorate God giving the Israelites the Law through Moses.
In the second chapter of Acts, we read about God doing another amazing thing. Just as he had promised, Jesus Christ, risen and ascended to his Heavenly Father, sent the Holy Spirit down upon his disciples who had gathered for Shavuot. Those gathered together were gifted with the miraculous ability to speak languages with which they had been unfamiliar. On that amazing day, Jesus created his church, his visible body of disciples on earth, invested with the mission of baptizing in the name of the Triune God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-- to make disciples of all nations, and to proclaim the forgiveness of sin and promise of eternal life, so that all would come to believe. The question must be asked: Has this mandate changed between then and now? The answer: an unequivocal no!
Pentecost stands as a reminder that the Christian Church is not a human creation, but has been established by God to live in and proclaim the gospel--the good news of Jesus Christ.