Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Making More of Pentecost

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Making More of Pentecost

This holy day needs more attention than we give it.

Leviticus 23:9-11

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.”

Leviticus 23:15, 16

“You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD.”

Pentecost (“fifty days”) was the celebration of the great harvest each year. It was preceded by offering a single sheaf (from each family) at the harvest of the firstfruits. Just as Jesus was the first to rise from the dead, so, at Pentecost—fifty days later—the resurrection and harvest of all the saints of God was guaranteed by the pouring out of God’s Spirit.

Note that the sheaf signifying the offering of the harvest was waved on the day after the Sabbath—the first day of the week. Is it too much to see in this a portent of a new “Sabbath” which honors the season of new and more abundant harvest?

We really should make more of Pentecost than we do.

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In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).

Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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