Plan ahead and join us Sunday, May 15, 2016 for Pentecost Sunday, and a great performance featuring our friends, The Nottingham Brass Quintet. They are back for another great service filled with their beautiful music.
Pentecost (AKA “Birthday of the Church”) is a Christian holy day commemorating the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples of Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament of the Bible. It is 50 days after Easter and celebrates the day the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles, causing them to speak in tongues. It marks the beginning of Christianity as a purposeful movement and a new community. When Peter preached immediately afterwards, around 3,000 people believed and were baptised.
As the story goes: At his Last Supper, Jesus legendarily instructed his 12 disciples to go out into the world to minister and heal the sick on their own. It was at that point that they became “apostles.” Fifty days after Jesus’ death, as the story goes, the Holy Spirit (part of the Holy Trinity — God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit ) descended onto the apostles, making them speak in foreign tongues. This “Pentecostal” experience allowed the apostles direct communication with God, which signaled a major shift in the religious landscape and laid the foundation for what would become Christianity. You’ll notice that the disciples are always depicted in artwork as regular-looking men while the apostles are depicted with halos around their heads. (Several other apostles came later — namely the famous Paul who is credited with writing much of the New Testament.)
Although all of the the 12 apostles are important, three stand out above the rest:
Peter (also called Simon Peter) established the first church in Antioch and is regarded as the founding pope of the Catholic church. Instrumental in the spread of early Christianity, Peter was said to have walked on water, witnessed the “Transfiguration of Jesus” and denied Jesus (for which he repented and was forgiven.) The Gospel of Mark is ascribed to Peter, as Mark was Peter’s disciple and interpreter.
John also is said to have witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus and went on to pen the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John and Book of Revelation. He died at age 94, having outlived the other apostles — all of whom, according to legend/history/whatever, were martyred. John is often described as “Jesus’ favorite” and depicted as the disciple sitting to Jesus’ right at the Last Supper.
Thomas (“Doubting Thomas”) is best known for questioning Jesus’ resurrection when first told of it. According to the Bible, Thomas saw Jesus himself several days later and proclaimed “My Lord and my God,” to which Jesus famously responded: “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:28.)
A special Light Lunch Coffee Hour follows after the service.