Friday, June 9, 2017

Pentecost is ours alone

Image result for Pentecost birthday
This past Sunday we celebrated Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is the day the church of Jesus Christ entered the public domain, and it's "OK"  to say to the church, "Happy birthday to you!" 

Until Jesus' little band of disciples experienced the descending dove, the tongues of fire and the babble of ecstatic voices, they really weren't ready for prime time. Their faith was proprietary and private. After those remarkable events, though, their old song suddenly became new.

Pentecost is the third biggest celebration of the Christian year, but it runs far behind Christmas and Easter in popularity. In the case of the other two holidays, secular culture has embraced the religious feast, manufacturing its own cheap knock-offs. There's secular Christmas, with its blatant consumerism and vague ethic of doing something nice for someone you already love. As for secular Easter, it's nothing more than a rite of spring.

No one has trouble finding decorations and greeting cards for secular Christmas or secular Easter. Many of them feature the familiar mascots of the holidays, Santa and the Easter Bunny. Those symbolic figures have high name-recognition, even among people who've never darkened a church door.

Image result for Pentecost birthdayCertain things you never, ever see in relation to Pentecost. Have you ever seen a rack of Pentecost cards in a drugstore? Have you ever savored a special candy that commemorates the holiday? Have you ever baked Pentecost cookies?

Will the church ever issue a call to "Keep the Holy Spirit in Pentecost"?

Not likely. It's not a problem. Nobody's trying to hijack the rights to this holiday. Pentecost is ours alone.