commonly called Whitsunday
O GOD, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
This Collect is to be said daily throughout Whitsun Week.
Acts ii. 1. St. John xiv. 15.
We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God
They all heard the message of the Apostles in their own tongues. This was the first miracle of the New Church. The Church was truly formed on the Day of Pentecost. On that Day, God sent his Holy Spirit to rest on the disciples so as to teach them the Truth and inspire and embolden them to preach the Gospel to all men. The devout Jews and proselytes who gathered there that day from around the world were amazed and marveled at the miracle of the disciples speaking in different languages. There were others there that day who did not hear the message, but rather what they considered to be gibberish. They accused the Apostles of being drunk. I wonder if they were a part of God's elect, or if their ears were closed by their unbelief?
The Feast of Pentecost originated with the Jewish faith and was called the feast of Weeks (Shavuot) as it occurred exactly seven weeks after Passover. It was a time when Israel commemorated the Ten Commandments "Zeman Matan Toratenu". On this Pentecost the Disciples taught the law as revealed through Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the law. They were able to do so through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The miracle of Pentecost was a sign and symbol of God's grace. Jesus had told his Disciples on the day of his Ascension that they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit in a short while, and that they would receive the power to preach the Gospel throughout the world. Now on the Festival of Pentecost, Jesus keeps his promise; God enables the Disciples to speak in the very language of the foreign Jews. He strengthens them to leave the security of the room in which they waited, and step out before the crowds to proclaim God's Good News. They did so boldly, without any fear of the consequences from Rome or the Temple. But the speaking in tongues was perhaps not the biggest miracle that day...
Perhaps the biggest miracle was in the spirit coming to rest on 3,000 of the listeners as they hear the Word and believed in their hearts. The Book of Acts says they were "pricked in their heart". Have you ever felt that pricking sensation? You hear something from Scripture and it has a special affect on you and you are physically and emotionally moved by it, even compelled to act on it? They asked Peter what they could do, and his response has been the formula for initiation in the Church ever since: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Peter's instructions echoed the words of our Lord's command upon his Ascension, and they apply today as much as they did on that Day of Pentecost.
Hmyn: cyberhymnal.org: WHEN GOD OF OLD CAME DOWN FROM HEAV'N
Acts ii. 1.
WHEN the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
St. John xiv. 15.
JESUS said unto his disciples, If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.
Old Testament - Numbers 11:24-30
So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again. Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, "My lord Moses, stop them!" But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit on them!" And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.
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