This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost when, after the resurrection, the Spirit came to the gathered disciples to inspire them to tell and be the good news of Jesus to people from all over the world who had gathered in Jerusalem for Shavuot. At the harvest festival Shavuot (Hebrew) or Pentecost (Greek), Jews and followers of Judaism gather to read and study the Torah (read more here); Shavuot is still celebrated today. In Greek Pentecost means 50; also called the Festival of Weeks, Shavuot was 50 days (7 weeks) after the harvest and Christians celebrate our Pentecost 50 days after Easter. Fun fact: the Spirit had already visited post-resurrection gatherings of the disciples with Jesus (Acts 1), but this was the first time we hear that the presence of the Spirit prompted them to tell and be the good news they heard and saw from Jesus. That’s why some people call Pentecost the birthday of the church (in gathering as church we prepare to tell and be good news to the world) and CUCC’s children often have a church birthday celebration that day.
You can read the story of that gathering of the disciples (Acts of the Apostles 2) here.
So why red?
The author of The Acts of the Apostles tells us that those gathered in the room saw and heard the Spirit; it looked like flames from heaven that split into smaller flames on each disciple’s head and was accompanied by the sound of wind. So – flames = red!
Traditionally, the church paraments (the cloths decorating the sanctuary) are red, the pastor wears red vestments (the stole), and the congregation wears red. All of that red reminds us that the Spirit has come to us, too, to empower us to tell and be the good news of Jesus. Besides, all that red looks amazing!
Whether you are worshiping online or in the sanctuary, wear red and let us prepare to be the church.