Many think that the Christian observance of Pentecost began with the disciples in Jerusalem after Jesus' resurrection. Not so. The Feast of Pentecost is an ancient feast observed by the Jews for centuries in remembrance of the giving of the Law of Moses 50 days after the Children of Israel were liberated from Egypt and crossed the Red Sea. The Christian observance likens the giving of Moses; Law to the giving of the Holy Spirit 50 days after the Resurrection when the Way of the Lord is written on human hearts by the indwelling of God's Sprit in the hearts of believers.
In ancient times, the Bible records that the Holy Spirit was given to individuals for specific purposes -- the anointing of a person for specific ministry, the anointing of kings, the anointing of prophets. Following the Resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was given to all believers as a sign and witness that Jesus continues to reside with believers and as God's "promisory note" that Jesus will return to claim all believers at his Second Coming.
The Season of Pentecost reminds all Christians that we are members of the Family of the Flame -- as flames of fire appeared over the heads of all who were in that upper room when the Holy Spirit was given. We all know that fire can be a tiny flame at the end of a match or on the tip of a birthday candle. We have also experienced the horrific power of fire an the catastrophic burn that occur during the wildfire season, especially out West and in areas of the world where fire has devastated millions of acres. Fire is always a symbol of power that can overwhelm when it is unleashed. The Apostles were empowered on that day and history tells us that the world was literally covered with the message of the Gospel in just a few decades after that powerful day.
We who live now have perhaps lost sight of the power God has placed within believers. It is the fire of God's very presence, with its cleansing power, its ability to move us beyond our comfort zone, to move us to say and do God's will even when we are fearful or even terrified. It is Jesus' promise that he is always with us and it is our assurance that as God has promised us the divine presence now, so we will one day be in God's very presence eternally. It is our hope as members of the Family of the Flame.
And now Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witness of Christ our Lord. To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and fOorever, Amen.