Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Ascension and Pentecost

The close of the Easter season is composed of a number of “markers” in time.  First there is the Feast of the Ascension, which according to ancient calendars is forty days after Easter.  For reasons of pastoral necessity the feast day has been transferred to the Sunday following Ascension Day.  In order to thoroughly confuse, Ascension follows Ascension.  This year Ascension is May 12.  It is a Sunday and the thinking is that more people will be sure to observe the feast if it is on a Sunday.  The information concerning the meaning of the feast comes mainly from the Acts of the Apostles and a brief mention in the Gospel of Mark. 

While the work of redemption continues it is primarily accomplished through the Church.
“He said to them, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16 NAB)

Pentecost is more colorful scene.  The “coming down” of the Holy Spirit is accompanied by signs, tongues of fire, wind and a loud noise.  The disciples are able to speak different languages and the experienced of spiritual ecstasy (joy) is a feature of the life of the Church.  The word “Pentecost” refers to the “fiftieth day,” fifty days after Easter.  This was first harvest festival of the new year with the tithe of the land was first brought to the lord in the New Year.  At about the time of Christ, the Jewish feast of Pentecost also included a reference to Moses and the celebration of the giving of the law to Moses and God’s People. With the coming of the Holy Spirit given to the Church, we begin the celebration of the new law, the Law of the Spirit.

Honduras Mission Update

One of the principals that drive the missionary efforts of the church is education.  In consideration of how to proceed we believe that education is indispensable.  In cases of extreme poverty, such as we experience in Honduras and even in parts of the United States, education is a necessary door out of poverty. Following that principal we are making a huge commitment to build a school in Honduras.  It has been slow to get started but we hope that we will be able to proceed within a few months.  The first stop is to obtain land.  Please pray for this project, for its success and the success of all our missionary efforts.

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