034 The Christmas-Pentecost Connection

I just read a quote in the December edition of the "Link," one of the magazines our Family produces, which triggered a train of thought about the connection between Christmas and Pentecost. Christmas is the first incident we celebrate related to Christ's coming to earth, and Pentecost is the last. In other words, Pentecost is in a sense the end of the story that Christmas begins to tell:

At Christmas we have a handful of rather poor people, a carpenter from Nazareth with his pregnant wife (whom he almost didn't marry because it wasn't his child she was bearing, had God personally not encouraged him to go ahead), a handful of shepherds, and a bunch of animals. Okay, there were the 3 kings, but they came later, and all in all, it was a bit of a motley crew gathered in that stable there in Palestine.

Pentecost - well, since some folks can't really pin down what exactly Pentecost is or was in the first place - was traditionally the Jewish feast of the harvest, which happened to be the occasion at which the Holy Spirit was poured out among the disciples of Jesus in Jerusalem after His resurrection. The result of that outpouring was the beginning of the Christian church: 3000 new souls won on that day, and 5000 more a few days later (Acts 2:41, 4:4). In other words, the seed which God had sown by sending down that little baby on the first Christmas in that shaggy stable was blossoming forth into it's first bloom, and exploding with fruit, on the day of Pentecost.

The day of Pentecost also resulted in the greatest and purest form of Communism ever known to man, which Karl Marx pitifully tried to imitate in his idea, and we've seen the results of that. If you don't believe it, read Acts 2:44,45 yourself. This distribution of wealth, over time, also brought the transition for many people from lack, want and poverty to abundance, apart from the spiritual riches which were poured out (you can find the gifts of the Spirit listed in 1.Corinthians 12, and the 13th chapter dedicated to the greatest of them alone, and the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, 23).

Most people aren't even aware of the gifts of the Spirit nowadays, nor of the spiritual riches that have been poured on us through Christ's coming, but instead we're extremely preoccupied with the physical abundance God has blessed us with (or at least the ability to obtain some of that abundance via loans & credit), heaping on our children and loved ones such an abundance of material things, that there's hardly ever time for them to ponder or grasp the spiritual meaning of Christmas.

As far as I can see it, the material and physical appearance of Jesus in Bethlehem points, 34 years later very clearly in the direction God wanted to lead us through Jesus: to the Spirit. Jesus said during His lifetime: "The flesh is good for nothing, it's the Spirit that gives life" (John 6:63). And isn't that the very lesson that God is trying to teach us throughout the Bible, from Moses and the Pharaoh, Joshua and Jericho, over David and Goliath, on to the greatest victory ever through a seeming defeat on the cross?

Yet some people don't seem to get the point. The wall that today desecrates Jesus' birth place we so fondly commemorate during this season, is one silent, terrifying testimony to that fact.

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