Pastor Alex Clattenburg has been a good friend for nearly 40 years. I got an email about a great Good Friday service he is having next week at Church in the Son in Orlando, Fla. I wish I could attend but I’ll be out of state. We close our offices every year on Good Friday. I always try to attend a service and it’s hard to find a Spirit-filled church that has one. What a pity. It’s part of our culture which comes out of the revivalist tradition of the sawdust trail. It’s as if anything liturgical is something we should avoid.
I had a good friend in the Episcopal Church that talked about how they had things all week long. I had to ask what Maundy Thursday was! We didn’t celebrate it in the Assemblies of God. But it’s the night before Good Friday. Okay, maybe we don’t need to go for the bells and smells of some churches. But sometimes we are so casual about special days, we go too far the other way. On Good Friday I like to take communion and to think about the sacrifice the Lord made on the cross. I encourage you to think about that sacrifice.
Another day few Pentecostals seem to celebrate is Pentecost Sunday. That’s the day “50 days” after Passover when Moses gave the law. The Jews call it Shauvott. We all know Jesus ascended into heaven 40 days after Easter Sunday, the day of His resurrection. After the disciples tarried for 10 days the Holy Spirit fell. That was the birth of the church. They all spoke with other tongues according to Acts 2:4. So when the Holy Spirit fell at the beginning of the last century, the new movement was called “Pentecostal” after the Day of Pentecost.
When Pentecost Sunday rolls around May 27 this year, it will be celebrated in Catholic and liturgical churches, but few Pentecostals will celebrate it. I’ve never understood why, but it’s probably the same reason not many celebrate Good Friday. That’s something for the formal churches.
It is also something Billy Wilson and the Empowered21 movement are trying to change. They are encouraging Pentecostal churches to take this as an opportunity to focus on the power of the Holy Spirit. I’m writing my column in the May issue of Charisma encouraging pastors to preach on Pentecost and to encourage those who are seeking to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
After all, shouldn’t Pentecostals be the ones to celebrate Pentecost Sunday?