It’s been years since I wrapped canned goods and brought them to church. I remember my Mom remembering at the last moment that the Sunday service was “White Sunday” and we’d run into the pantry and pull out some goodies that we’d wrap in white tissue paper and make an “offering” at the foot of the Altar.
You can tell that my parents had a British background, since “White Sunday” was known “in the Old Country” as Whitsuntide. Another name denotes the timing of this celebration … 50 days after Easter Day – called Pentecost (“Pente” Greek for 50).
Fifty days post Easter, the disciples had been hiding from the religious authorities and into their locked room came the rushing of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit danced on the heads of the disciples and looked like flames of fire. They felt encouraged by the Spirit to break free from hiding and for the first time proclaimed aloud the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That day, the Acts of the Apostles recount, 3000 souls were “added to their numbers”.
On this Whitsuntide or Pentecost – we adorn the church in red – symbolizing flames of fire, the power of the Holy Spirit as we celebrate the “birthday of the Church”. Perhaps we could take a moment today to give thanks for the ministry of the church. Today we recognize 60 years of ministry of the Primates World Relief and Development Fund. Funds raised today at our luncheon will be directed to the work in Mozambique and the people there who are trying to rebuild their lives.