The readings for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost emphasize the joyful hope of renewal we have. We often think of the Kingdom of God as being far away and awaiting our arrival in heaven; yet the readings on this Sunday tell us that the Kingdom of God is in our midst right now.
The theme of the day for the Third Sunday after Pentecost focuses on the cosmic conflict between Satan and God. Jesus is the victor in that conflict, and we share in that victory because of His death and resurrection. Although we are yet threatened by Satan’s attacks in this life, we are part of God’s family as we are led by the Spirit.
At Pentecost, the wind brought the Spirit of God which re-created the people of Israel as the New Testament church. 3,000 people were baptized that day and the church was born. The name is an alternate name for the Jewish celebration of the Feast of Weeks, which occurred fifty (Latin: pente-) days after Passover.
Proverbs are sometimes tough for the Christian reader of the Bible. Not because they aren’t clear or don’t make sense, but because they sometimes appear empty of theological content. But Proverbs are actually intricate literary expressions which are less moralistic and far more theologically related to experience that is apparent at first glance.
So far in the divine worship service the congregation has been the primary speakers, opening their lips in prayer and praise. At this point the congregation falls silent and our Lord himself speaks to us. We open our ears and hearts to his life giving words spoken through the Lessons.
The hymn “The Day of Resurrection” is one of the oldest hymns in our hymnary—written more than a thousand years ago by Saint John of Damascus. At the Easter Eve midnight service it is customary in Eastern Orthodox churches for worshipers to carry unlighted candles which are lighted on signal while this hymn is sung.