This period of Shuvot and Pentecost, what is celebrated? The giving of Torah to the Jewish People and the giving of the power of the Holy Spirit of courage, wisdom etc..replacing their fear. The first question might be why celebrate these two things? When we receive a memorable gift, we don’t just toss it somewhere and forget it, hope not. When we receive a great, memorable, life-changing gift I would hope we would hold it dear, cherish it always. The 10 Utterances/Commandments and the expansion of those are the basis for civil society, for codes of law and order. Remembering the giving of this great gift, Commandments is a matter of respect for God, for civilized society. Then you have Pentecost. Remember they were full of fear when Jesus left, but He promised a helper, counselor, and such. Jesus keeps His promises, as does the Father, even if not in our time or our way of wanting it to be. The second question might be why a gust of rushing wind and flames? If you have a bunch of leaves clogging up the yard, and you want those leaves to move out of the way, you use a wind blower, whatever that device is called. Fire, Well the bible tells us we are to be refined by the fire so as to be able to enter heaven. The rush of wind and flames served to catch their attention for one and to purify them of fear so they could to go out and preach the Good News, that Christ was Messiah, that we are all sinners and to call out sin. That takes guts, to put yourself on the line to evangelize and speak out on sin and the sin nature, consequences of sin in this and the next life, that the only salvation is Christ. Jesus knew in our human frailties that would be a tough assignment and we needed something powerful to give us the courage etc…to do this, hence the wind and the fire. May we never forget these two holidays, love and honor the great gift each represents.
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