SUNDAY STUDY: Shavuot and Pentecost 2018


The Day of Pentecost was a Jewish feast before it took on particular Christian significance. It marked the fifty days since the Passover and often coincided with the end of the wheat harvest. It was a celebration.

Shavuot 2018 begins at sunset on Saturday, May 19 and ends on the evening of Monday, May 21. Although Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, began as an ancient grain harvest festival, the holiday has been identified since biblical times with the giving of the Ten Commandments from God to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Pentecost is the Greek name given for the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15; Deuteronomy 16:9).  In our Christian observance of Pentecost, fifty days after Easter, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit in new ways. It is a feast celebrating the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the twelve Apostles.

The word Pentecost means “the 50th day” because the Pentecost celebration occurs seven weeks, or fifty days, after Easter Sunday. Some Christians refer to Pentecost as the “Birthday of the Church.”

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