The Feast of Shavuot is a celebration of the summer harvest when people gave an offering of their first fruits. After Jesus’ ascension into Heaven, the Apostles gathered for this feast and were alarmed by the sound of a violent wind as tongues of fire appeared over each of them. They began to speak in different languages so all those gathered in Jerusalem at the time could understand God’s message–Parthians, Medes, Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Rome and parts of Libya. What could this mean? Some thought the apostles were drunk, but Peter proclaimed they were not drunk–it was only 9:00 in the morning.
Peter addressed the crowd by affirming what was happening was fulfillment of Scripture: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18). Peter continued to explain the gospel message and three thousand people became believers and were baptized that day. This is known as Pentecost, the birth of the church.
THINK ABOUT IT
Pentecost happened on the Feast of Shavuot, the first fruits from the summer harvest, and it is God’s first fruits to the church. Think how awesome it was for these people to hear God’s word proclaimed in their own language. Think about three thousand believers making up the early church, the first fruits of the church. Because of their belief, commitment and testimony, we believe today and are saved from the grips of hell.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Thank you, Holy Father, for the apostles who brought about the first fruits of the early church. Thank you for their testimonies and writings, which made it possible for us to believe and have a personal relationship with you. We pray, O Lord, that you continue to send your Spirit on the dark world we live in. People need you and don’t even know it. O Lord, open their eyes and hearts to receive and experience your amazing love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.