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Friday
Jul032009

Theological Definition: PENTECOST

Pentecost is the Greek word for 'fiftieth.' The Old Testament festival that marked the beginning of the corn harvest (Deut. 16:9) and commemorated the giving of the Law to Moses on Mt Sinai came to be called 'Pentecost' because it followed fifty days after the Passover. The old Hebrew name for it was 'the ‘Feast of Weeks.’ While this feast was being celebrated in Jerusalem, the Christian Church was born. The gift of the Holy Spirit was given to Jesus' disciples (Acts 2) and they began to preach and teach Jesus' death and resurrection. From the very early days of the Church, Christians celebrated their own 'Passover' or 'Pascha' -- the Feast of the Resurrection which we usually call Easter. Over time it became customary to mark this Christian 'Pentecost' fifty days later.

Thursday
Apr302009

RIP: Josyp Terelya, 65

Photo courtesy of Terelya familyTortured Ukrainian mystic never denounced his Christian faith

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Thursday
Apr302009

Theological Definition: RogationTide

The sixth Sunday in the Easter season is 'Rogation Sunday' and the three days that follow are called 'Rogation days.' The word comes from the Latin rogare -- 'to ask' or 'to pray.' In centuries past, Rogationtide was especially a season of prayer for God's blessing on growing crops. However, it is also a time of preparation for Ascension Day on the Thursday following.

Christ says to St Mary Magdalene when she meets him near the empty tomb, 'Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father' (John 20:17). Her desire is to hold him physically. She must learn to hold him with the understanding and with desire in prayer. We must learn to do the same thing. Thus we prepare for Christ's Ascension -- for the absence of his bodily presence -- by a season devoted to prayer.

 

Thursday
Apr302009

Good Question

To where does Christ ascend?

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Thursday
Apr302009

Book Review: The Prodigal God

Several years ago a friend insisted that I listen to a sermon tape. It was Tim Keller’s sermon "The Prodigal Sons," and from that time on I was hooked on Keller’s ministry. The sermon has become a book with the unsettling title The Prodigal God.

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