With the coming of June we now turn to the second half of the church year. It is the Non-festival season of the church calendar referred to as the Pentecost season. This second half of the church year always includes the entire months of July, August, September and October and most or all of June and November. In some years, the season of Pentecost may include a portion of May, or a day or two in early December. This year the last Sunday in the season of Pentecost will fall on November 25 as we observe Christ the King Sunday.
Remember the Festival season of the church calendar finds its focus on the life of Jesus, which culminates in His glorious resurrection. Easter will fall either early or late. Ascension is always forty days after Easter. Pentecost always falls exactly fifty days after Easter. This year Easter fell on April 1. In 2019 Easter will be celebrated on April 21.
The color for the Sundays after Pentecost is green, a color of growth. It is during this season that Christians grow in the faith expressing that confidence which we have in Christ. Maintaining a reference to the Pentecost season is to emphasize that we Christians are living in the age of the Spirit, given at Pentecost. Just as the disciples were gifted and led by the Spirit, so too are we. We are a church still living from the Pentecost described in Acts chapter 2 as a helpful reminder that we continue to live in the wake of Pentecost.
The Old Testament readings are arranged so that we can experience a great amount of scripture,
The Epistle addresses the realities of conflict (II Corinthians), the promise of stability and unity (Ephesians), core practices of the faith (James), and the priestly nature of Christ and the church (Hebrews).
The Gospel during this season carries us through Mark’s account of Jesus teaching his disciples, largely in the area in and around the Sea of Galilee,
The number seven is identified with Pentecost because the Spirit brings the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit. From Isaiah 11:1-3 these gifts include wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. These sevenfold-gifts are portrayed in the two candelabras each containing seven branches.
During this season Christians are grateful for the Spirit and His gifts. The Spirit brings life; He calls, enlightens and gathers believers into His family the church. We also express our life in confidence. Hope results from the Spirit making all things new. With the Spirit comes new life and hope.