Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday, is sometimes known as the “birthday of the Church.” As it’s one of the major Feast days, many Episcopal parishes do something special. One common practice in many congregations involves having the Gospel lesson read in different languages, emphasizing the Church’s universal nature. No matter whether we identify as Anglicans, Catholics, Baptists, or non-denominationalists, we’re all part of Christ’s one body, the Church.
This is often all too easy to forget. While most Christians are probably at least mildly interested in what other Christian traditions teach, divisions have happened even when the Church was in her infancy. It seems like these divisions take the center stage way too often.
Keep this in mind: on that Pentecost Sunday after the Resurrection, the division between Jews and Gentiles was very sharp. Some of Jesus’ early followers just couldn’t see how Gentiles could have a place in the full life of this new religion. Pentecost showed how this could be a reality to the world. Nobody in their time or ours is “unreachable”. After all, Jesus’ message is for all.