Sunday, June 12, 2011

On Pentecost and civil rights

The most decisive impact of Pentecost, where the gift of the Spirit is made clear, is not tongue-speaking but community-formation (oneness).
— Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet, p. 77

Today is Pentecost.

In Christian tradition, this is the day the descent of the Holy Spirit is celebrated, fifty days after Easter. (Pentecosté = fiftieth.)

But Pentecost existed before Easter. The reason Peter and the other disciples were gathered in Jerusalem in the first place was for Shavuot (a.k.a. the Feast of Weeks, a.k.a. Pentecost), which took place seven weeks after the second day of Passover... fifty days after the first day of Passover.

(I love making these connections. I'm such a math/language geek.)

Beginning on Pentecost, God demonstrated His intent to bring people from every tribe and tongue to Himself. He pushed the disciples past their narrow understanding of community, proving His purpose was far bigger than the redemption of a single people group.

Some have observed that the Pentecost story of Acts 2 is the redemption of the Tower of Babel story of Genesis 11 — a divine act of reuniting people who had been divided, or made "other," from one another.

Community.... unity... removal of division...

This year, Pentecost falls on another holiday: Loving Day, a celebration of the 1967 Supreme Court case (Loving v. Virginia) which made it illegal for states to enforce laws banning interracial marriage.

What an interesting parallel.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:00 PM

    Very cool. I've always been amazed the last name was Loving in that case.


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