The Day of Pentecost
By Father David Krause
Sometimes called the Birthday of the Church, sometimes the Descent of the Holy Spirit, in this Icon, the disciples are gathered together, and if you look closely, there is a small bit of red above the head of each, which looks like a bit of flame—or the tongues of fire that we sometimes associate with the Holy Spirit. Can you see the three small crosses in the star at the middle of the top of the image, or the Father gathering all of His creation together at the foot of the disciples?

I could really go on and on about the import of this particular image, but today I merely want to call your attention to one simple aspect of Pentecost. These, and many more, were gathered together according to the account in the scripture, and then the Spirit came upon them, binding their hearts together, helping them overcome their differences, serving to comfort them in adversity, giving them strength for the task, but most of all, equipping them for their journey yet to come.

Surely, they must have thought, the important events were over. Jesus had died. Three days later, conquering death itself, he stood among them, teaching and sharing new life. 10 days ago he rose, in their sight, and arose to the heavens. Now they were about to set off on the work that he had left for them to do: to be his witnesses and to continue to walk in his ways. They were together, and then, suddenly, like being hooked up to a 220 volt line, when they were only previously wired for 110 volts, they were supercharged.

This year, don’t forget to wear red to church. Don’t forget to be amazed at how far and wide the Gospel has spread, and don’t forget, let us all come together.
Acts 2:1–34
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
Peter Addresses the Crowd
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
   and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
   and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
   in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
   and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
   and signs on the earth below,
   blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
   and the moon to blood,
   before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.

Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
“You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.
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