What is Christian Literacy?
Literacy refers to the ability to use a language - to know what words means, to be able to use grammar, sentence structure, to be able to converse in that language is to be literate.
Religious literacy means having the ability to understand and speak about our faith intelligently. It’s the ability to communicate the basic tenets of our religion.
I'm very grateful to B.U. Professor Stephen Prothero for his excellent book, "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and Doesn't." This book, along with my desire to teach the faith, served as the inspiration for this effort.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
that changes everything. July 4, 1776 was one of those days, the birth of
our nation. June 6, 1944 was another one of those days, D-Day, the
decisive invasion of WWII. There have been other important days in human history. Aug. 3, 1977, the birth of Tom Brady, or May 17, 2003, the day the Red Sox signed Big Papi.
In our faith, there have been big days as well, days that changed everything. The day (or night) when Christ was born. The day we now call Good Friday, and of course, Easter Sunday.
Do you know that Pentecost is one of the biggest days in our faith? In the 2000 years of recorded Biblical history, Pentecost is on the short list of most important days - because it changed everything. Ever since the Day of Pentecost God is now available to all.
In the Old Testament, God seemed only available to a select few - prophets, priests & kings. Only they had access to Almighty God, and even then it was only on special occasions - such as on the Day of Atonement, when the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple, the most sacred place on the face of the earth, and he'd offer a sacrifice and commune with God. Special person, special place, special time. Pentecost is the undoing of all that.
Acts 2 records the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given to the
earliest Christians. We find these words:
"I will pour out my spirit upon all people - your sons and daughters shall
prophesy, and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall
dream dreams." - Acts 2:17
That's Pentecost. It changed everything.
Here's a thought: The Holy Spirit is God with us and in us.
Meditate on the Spirit by focusing on your breathing.
Breath in the Holy Spirit.
Breath out the things in your life that don't belong.
Prayer: Thank You, Holy Spirit, that You are God's power within me. Fill
me. Strengthen me. Use me. Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Amen.
The Satellite Dish Illustration
Well, because of the gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost - everyone now gets a satellite dish. Everyone and anyone can tune in to God and feel the power!
Pentecost was originally a Jewish holiday, held 50 days after Passover. It was known as the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Harvest, celebrating the first harvest of the season. It was a required holiday for all those living within 20 miles of Jerusalem. Jews also made pilgrimages to Jerusalem to celebrate it. That's why there were people from all over the western world gathered there for this particular Pentecost, recorded in Acts 2.