Author Joan Lipis says church leaders can enrich this weekend's celebration of Pentecost Sunday through deeper understanding of biblical feasts and celebrations.

Lipis, a Messianic believer based in Jerusalem, wrote Celebrate Jesus: A Christian Perspective of the Biblical Feasts after realizing that many churches had a very limited understanding of the biblical feasts, and their significance to and relevance in the lives of all believers. Lipis told Christianity Today during a recent interview, "God has an order. God has a calendar. It is not up to me or anyone else to tell you what to do or how to do it. But I am saying God has given us the when, the why, and the who. Since the feasts are all about Jesus, should we not begin to do things God's way and according to God's calendar?"

Her book explores new Christian perspectives on the weekly Sabbath; the monthly Rosh Chodesh (new moon); Passover; the feasts of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Weeks (Pentecost/Shavuot), Trumpets, and Tabernacles; and the Day of Atonement, Hanukkah, and Purim. Most of the feasts commemorate events in the history of Israel, but Lipis believes that Jesus is at the heart of all the biblical holidays and celebrations. Christianity Today interviewed her recently about the celebration of Pentecost, which this year actually began at sundown on Thursday, May 28.

What was the significance to early Christians of Pentecost overlapping with the Feast of Weeks?

Pentecost and Weeks is the same holiday. Pentecost is the Greek word. Shavuot, meaning "weeks," is the Hebrew term. The holidays do not overlap. They are one and the same. Peter's sermon as recorded in Acts 2:14-40 manifested his understanding of the significance of God's promised gift of the Holy Spirit ...

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