We celebrate Pentecost 50 days after Jesus' resurrection. It commemorates the arrival of the promised Holy Spirit, our comforter. We see this detailed in Acts 2 where "God-fearing Jews from every nation" were staying in Jerusalem.* Perhaps they came to the city because Pentecost coincides with the Jewish festival of Shavuot, also called the Feast of Weeks, the Day of the First Fruits, and even Pentecost by Hellenistic Jews.
Shavuot is a festival that combines two observances. The first is the grain harvest, and the second is the giving of the Torah (the first five books of Scripture) on Mt. Sinai. In the first century, Jewish families would know they needed to be in Jerusalem in order to deliver their first fruits. What a monumental cord that God provides, one that binds the pageantry of Passover, the giving of the law 50 days later, and gathering together first fruits of the harvest as a gift to God.
No wonder our great God uses this placement of time to bring his Holy Spirit, down the winding streets of Jerusalem, through to the Upper Room, and into our very hearts.
*Remember, we don't see the first Gentile convert to Christianity until Acts 10 with Peter baptizing Cornelius in Caesarea, the same place Paul will later be imprisoned.
Written by a member of our church staff