The season of Easter ends with our celebration of two events that had a major impact on the early Church.
The first of these is the Ascension of our Lord, which ended a period of forty days during which the risen Christ had appeared to many of his disciples on a number of occasions. He was taken from their sight, but His final words were a promise: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ [Acts 1:8].
The second is just ten days later, on what used to be called Whitsunday, but which we now refer to as Pentecost (from the Greek for “fiftieth day”). Pentecost is the festival when Christians everywhere celebrate the gift of that Holy Spirit which had been promised by Christ, and came first to the believers that had gathered together in a house in Jerusalem.
As you read the account in Acts 2, you might prefer the image of the Holy Spirit as the divided tongues of fire that rested on each of the believers, and energised them into action: that day 3,000 persons were added to their number. And that was just for starters!
Do join our celebration of the events around the birthday of the Church Universal …