Wear Red: The Color of Pentecost

A typical Western image of the Pentecost. Ducc...
A typical Western image of the Pentecost. Duccio di Buoninsegna (1308) Tempera on wood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fifty days after Easter comes the feast of Pentecost. For the Hebrews, this is the Feast of Weeks or the Feast of the Harvest. Although Israelites planted both wheat and barley at the same time, barley matured more quickly, and the Israelites reaped during the this feast while the wheat ripened in the fields. This is the second harvest. The first comes during the Christian Easter, the last during the last holy days in September or October.

The details of this holy day are found in Leviticus 23: 15-22. In a nutshell, these Scriptures define the feast of Pentecost in this way:
  1. Fifty days after the Feast of First Fruits (the Christian Easter)
  2. Sacrifice two loaves of bread and seven lambs
  3. One goat is sacrificed as a sin offering, two more lambs are offered as a fellowship offering.
  4. No work is to be done
  5. During this feast, leaven can be consumed. In the final feasts, observant Jews will once again abstain from leaven.
Christians celebrate Pentecost as well. We find the establishment in Acts 2:1-4. During this feast the church was born with the following signs:
  1. A sound like the blowing of violent wind came from heaven
  2. Tongues of fire appeared
  3. People spoke in other tongues
It is no irony that the Christian Pentecost occurred on the second major feast for the Israelites. The parallels between the feasts become salient when you learn that ancient rabbis believed Pentecost to be the day Moses came down from the mountain with the law. They called it the birth of Judaism or the Feast of the Giving of the Law. Note the following comparisons:
Birth of the Law                            Birth of the Church
Ex. 19:16-Lev. 20:1                                        Acts 2
Supernatural manifestations,                           supernatural manifestation, noise like
trumpets, thundering, lightening,                    a might rushing wind
thick clouds
fire, voice of God, law on a                            tongues of fire, grace engraved on the tablet of
tablet of stone                                                 our hearts
End result: fear                                               End result: peace
3,000 died                                                       3,000 found salvation and lived
Cannot look at Moses’ face                            the veil removed

The traditional church gives Pentecost the ecclesiastical color of red. Celebrate your observance by wearing red this Sunday.

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