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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

May 17th, 2024 | Rev. Alyce Parmer

Red is a color that is well… so very red! 

Red is dramatic –it is not shy!  It’s the perfect color for this holy day we call Pentecost.  If that burning question “What’s so special about Pentecost?” is consuming you, please let me fan the flames of wonder within you by way of this dramatic retelling of the story of Pentecost. 

Imagine those once fearful and forlorn folk who denied, betrayed, and abandoned Jesus now transformed from fearful to faithful after having seen Jesus who has shown himself to them and ate fish with them on the beach of Galilee’s shores.  Jesus has spent just about 40 days hanging out in Bethany and elsewhere with them.  And…by the way, having shown himself to many others as well. Now, just before he ascended into heaven Jesus told the now happy disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait there for a baptism by the Holy Spirit.  They all did as Jesus instructed and gathered once again in the Upper Room along with Jesus’s mother and his family. 

Now here’s where it gets really exciting!  It’s been 50 days since the Passover, and it’s the holy day Jews call Pentecost or Shavout when they celebrate wheat harvest and God’s giving Moses the Law.  Suddenly, they hear a something akin to mighty rushing wind in the room – think hurricane force – swirling about them!  Then they all see something like flames coming out of their heads, which gives a whole new perspective to one’s hair being on fire!  And…if that’s not enough drama for you…boy howdy, does God have a flair for jaw-dropping phenomena…why now they all receive the amazing ability of becoming multi-lingual – not only is their hair metaphorically on fire, but their tongues are as well! 

Out they go into the streets where there are crowds of people celebrating.  All these "on fire for Jesus" disciples begin preaching their hearts out in multiple languages so all these visitors from faraway places can understand them!  Their preaching is so amazing that 3000 get baptized that very day! 

I can tell you Pastor Charlie, Pastor Rachel, and I would give anything to be able to preach like that!  So, that’s what happened on that first Christian Day of Pentecost.  Now I hope you can understand why we celebrate it, even today – we also call it the birthday of the Christian church.  So put on your red shirts, blouses and shoes this Sunday and let’s get a fire started, shall we?


Pastor Alyce

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