Sunday, June 8th was Pentecost, a Christian festival commemorating the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles on the day of the Jewish harvest festival on the fiftieth day from the second day of Passover. Pentecost means fiftieth day. In the Anglican tradition the day is known as Whitsunday or White Sunday from the white baptismal robes worn on that day. On the Christian calendar this day ends the narrative of Christ’s life on earth and is the birthday of the church.
Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the scripture readings for the day, which show the progression from Old Testament prophecy to it’s fulfillment. The O.T. reading from Joel 2:28 is the prophecy: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh.” In the gospel, John 14:15, Jesus makes his promise: ” I will pray the Father and He shall give you another comforter that He may abide with you forever.” The reading for the epistle, Acts 2:1, describes the event: “There appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire…” These lessons show the sequence of God’s promise: Jesus does not let us do it alone. The Greek term for Holy Spirit is paraclete, which means someone called in to help in a time of trouble.
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