Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pentecost, Holy Spirit, Tongues of fire

Wow. Today is Pentecost Sunday, the name Pentecost coming from a Greek word which means 'fiftieth'. I say wow, because this date is measured from Easter, and were already 50 more days into this year.

If you are of the Catholic faith, you've celebrated this festival probably all your life. As a matter of fact, it was a Catholic friend of mine who mentioned this to me, and I said, hm....what?

So I figured I better check this out.

"Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit in the form of flames to the followers of Jesus, as recorded in the New Testament. Jesus had told them to wait until the Spirit came to them.

Ten days after ascension, (Ascension Day marks the last appearance of Jesus to the disciples after his resurrection at Easter.)

50 days after the resurrection, the Spirit came. "

I am interested all ready. Being a 'spiritual' person by nature, I strive to be "Christianly" spiritual by choice. I know Christ is my path, my only true path. So when I read the Holy Spirit came to the early followers in the form of flames on the head....?....I'm curious.

'And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit' (Acts 2:3-4).

So....first the fire appeared to them as cloven tongues, then it sat upon them, then they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Here's a little elaboration, this found at:,
They partook of fire, not of burning but of saving fire; of fire which consumes the thorns of sins, but gives luster to the soul.

This is now coming upon you also, and that to strip away and consume your sins which are like thorns, and to brighten yet more that precious possession of your souls, and to give you grace; for He gave it then to the Apostles.

And He sat upon them in the form of fiery tongues, that they might crown themselves with new and spiritual diadems by fiery tongues upon their heads. A fiery sword barred of old the gates of Paradise; a fiery tongue which brought salvation restored the gift. St.Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 17 no. 15)

Saint Symeon says that this mode of acting of the Holy Spirit - by means of a loud noise as of a rushing mighty wind, and with tongues of fire - was something unique. The Holy Spirit, he observes, comes very calmly, in the form of spiritual light, and evokes joy.

The power of the Holy Spirit, which is bestowed upon him who loves God and keeps His commandments, does not appear visibly in the form of fire, nor does it come with a loud sound like a violent wind - for this happened only in the time of the Apostles for the sake of the unbelievers.

Instead, it is seen spiritually in the form of spiritual light, and comes with all calm and joy. Guide to Byzantine Iconography, Vol. 1, by Constantine Cavarnos (Also found at

What a great day to commemorate, the birth of the Church as we know it, it says on the day of Pentecost the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4), and the apostle Peter preached his first sermon, urging the crowds to repent, to believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (verse 38). That very day of Pentecost some 3,000 people were baptized and became the people of God (verse 41). The church had been born.

In my search to my pondering regarding Pentecost I found a great resource, Lecture XVII.Continuation of the Discourse on the Holy Ghost.


Dawn said...

What a great reminder of what power the HS, holds!

Trish's Soapy Blessings said...

Great info on Pentecost Sunday! The Holy Spirit is amazing and we hear too little about Him.

Judy's Vintage Collections said...

Hello Nora, I know you have read my testimony...but I wanted to tell you that this is the most wonderful gift of God...If you read it in Acts 2:38-39 it is for you and me...and ye shall received it too..I did on April 25,1986...sweet and wonderful gift of God.............It does tell about this in the first 4 books of New Testament and in book of Joel... It's not hard to understand the word of God. The problem is we always try to figure out the whys?.... Jesus, told them not to leave Jerusalem in verse 4, but to wait for the promise...Remember this too, Jesus' mother Mary, was too in that room on the day of Pentecost...She was one of them that received this gift...I know you have read it in the first chapter of Acts verse 14...and she too received this wonderful gift of power from God as stated in...Acts 1:8...power to be witnesses...(to me this is so interesting to read this very verse)The mother of Jesus was it was for Mary too!...
The Holy Ghost...King James Version
The Holy Spirit...Translated into other Bible versions... I still say the KJV and ye shall received the gift of the Holy Ghost....
I know it changed my life...It gives me the power to stand and live for Jesus Christ, who was God with us....Jesus, made a way of escape for us to live for HIM and with HIM forever.......
I am forever thankful for my Jesus Christ...
my Savior...Glory to Jesus!

Nora, you have become a dear friend to me in this swift fast today's web :)I am thankful we have met...Love your interest in many things....Your art is so lovely....I need to buy some of it!
Lots of Love and Hugs,


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