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“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,” I am sure even the beginning of Alan’s rendition of Happy Birthday brings back memories of him singing it in Church, Pub or wherever else he has had the chance. Well, the month of May shall be no different as there is a fairly important birthday to celebrate.
Pentecost falls in May this year, it always falls on the 7th Sunday after Easter and offers us an opportunity to commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples. This festival has become fondly known as the Church’s birthday, with some church’s buying cake and even having party streamers at the service. But, did you know that the Old English Pentecosten,"Christian festival on seventh Sunday after Easter,” comes from Late Latin pentecoste, from Greek pentekoste (hemera) "fiftieth (day)," fem. of pentekostos, from pentekonta "fifty," from pente“five.” This means that as we enter into May we are fast moving away from Easter and setting our sights on things to come.
As Spring settles and the days get longer, and hopefully warmer, it is not difficult to set our eyes on things to come. As we begin to dream of long Summer days and maybe exotic climates, it is easy to forget the here and now. But, as we continue to celebrate Easter and focus on the resurrection we are reminded of that we are an Easter People who live in the light of the resurrection.
The opportunities of the 40 days of Easter are immense, they offer us a constant reminder that Jesus conquered death once and for all and as we see new life spring up around us in wonderful colour it is hard not to feel a part of it all.
This year May offers us opportunity to reflect on creation, maybe by going for a walk or doing so gardening, and while doing so challenges us to remember that we are an Easter People who have been blessed with the Holy Spirit.