When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. -Acts 2:1-4

We've been talking a lot of Pentecost around here since last Sunday (6/4/17) was "Pentecost Sunday"--the day many Christians around the world remember the day the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, and celebrate this day as the birth of the Church.

What an awesome day in our Christian faith history! The Holy Spirit of God fell on the 120 or so believing men and women, which included the disciples, where they had been gathered in the Upper Room, according to the instructions Jesus gave them before His Ascension. {Acts 1:4-17} These men and women "prophesied" (meaning, proclaimed the goodness of God) in the languages of those people who were also visiting in Jerusalem at the time. {Acts 2:1-13}

Well, Pentecost is the Greek name for one of 3 major feasts of the Lord called Shavout (Hebrew), also known as The Feast of Weeks, Firstfruits of the Wheat Harvest, or the Day of Firstfruits. {Ex. 34:18-24, Lev. 23:15-22, Num. 28:26-31, Deut. 16: 9,10; 16, 17}  Pentecost means fifty and comes 50 days after Passover, which for the believer is connected with Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection, {Matt. 26:17-26}

So, many, many people were gathered in Jerusalem already for this harvest feast and would be present to hear the sound of the mighty rushing wind and also hear these Believers proclaiming the goodness of God.{Acts 2:2-4} So, Peter preaches about what took place, because with tongues of fire and Galileans speaking new languages and all, some clarity was probably needed! {Acts 2:14-36} The Bible says that when the people listening heard the things Peter had said, "they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles,"Men and brethren, what shall we do?" {Acts 2:37}

Peter response is spot on: "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." {Acts 2:38-39} This is the thing to do in life, if we never do any other--to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. And because of the move of the Holy Ghost that day, the Bible says that about THREE THOUSAND souls were added to the number!! {Acts 2:41} What a blessing and a witness that is!! These people could then go back home and share the Gospel with their families and friends (thus the celebration of the birth of the Church).

We are still figuring out how we will commemorate the Day of Pentecost as a family, since this is our first year intentionally noting these sort of Holy Days. We were all going to wear a bit of red (for the tongues of fire), but as you can see below, half of us forgot. We were going to make two loaves of bread (leavened--symbolizing that salvation was not only for the Israelites, but for the Gentiles, too) {Lev. 23:15-17}, but that didn't work out. Some of the kids thought we should bake a cake--actually, if you just say the word "celebrate" my kids automatically think cake should be involved.

I played a game with the kids to help them remember to always listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit: one person was blind folded and one person was the voice who gave instructions to the blind-folded, getting that person from point A to point B. While the voice gave instructions, the rest of us had to shout and make noise and give counter-directions, making it harder for the blind-folded person to hear the right directions. It was fun, but message hit home with my older kids. My husband prays daily that we would hear the voice of God and not be overcome with distractions. This game solidified why he prays that prayer.

Thank you for reading a bit of my journey as we learn to keep faithful traditions to the glory of God. Does your family celebrate Pentecost or any of the feasts of the Lord?


by on Saturday, June 10, 2017
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a...

Written by Glenys Nellist
Illustrated by Rachel Clowes

This book is intended for little girls, ages 4-8 years old. It has 14 stories that are all about various women in the Bible--7 from the Old Testament and 7 from the New Testament. Some of the women are well known, such as Eve or Mary, the mother of Jesus. Others are lesser known like Naaman's servant girl or the Widow with two mites.

Each story is a two-page spread: one side for the story and the other for a beautifully illustrated picture. The colors are bright and inviting and I love how the characters are depicted according to the historical setting. Once the little girl reads the story, she can then lift an envelope flap on the page and read a note that is intended to be "written" by God to her. There's even space to write in your child's name so the notes can be personalized, just like receiving their own mail. Each note ties in some truth from the Bible story to a truth about the child. For example, in the story about Eve, the author highlights that God loved Eve as a part of His creation, calling her good, and still loving her after she had done wrong. In the "love letter from God", the little girl is told that He made her and that anything He makes is good. It says that He will love her and offer forgiveness, just as He did with Eve. This pattern is the same through out the book for each story.

I like the idea of the book overall. I think it would be sweet and endearing to a little girl. I understand that the author wants to convey the idea that God loves every little girl and has a personal interest in every aspect of their lives, just as He did with the women in the Bible. However, I'm a little uncomfortable with the notes explicitly saying, "your caring friend, GOD" or "love, GOD," as though He actually wrote it.

Also, each story is very heavily adapted from the recounting giving in God's Word. While this may be thought to be "easier" for the child to read (which I can definitely understand), it interferes with Biblical accuracy, which is really important to me. Also, I am still an advocate of children hearing the Scriptures read to them so that they develop an ear for it, not an ear for paraphrasing. In any case, the Scriptural reference is given for each one of the stories, which I think is very important, so little girls will know where to find the Scripture and story for themselves.

(I received copies of this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> and Handlebar Publishing book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
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