Monday, April 7, 2008

Plans for Pentecost

I don't know if we'll climb a hill for Ascension Day again (it's on May 1 this year, folks), though I hope so. It'll have to be a smaller one since we'll be hauling four kids up instead of just two. But I am looking forward to celebrating Pentecost. Given the fact that someone or other from our family was in the hospital from January 1 to March 3, we didn't get much of a chance to celebrate Christmas, Epiphany, Lent or Easter. Man.

So, I'm getting excited about Pentecost. I'm not sure what all we'll end up doing, but the two things I'm planning on now revolve around the dinner table.

1) Table decoration: there's a tradition of sprinkling your table with red rose petals on Pentecost, to represent the flames of fire that descended on the discples. I think this will be both beautiful and a be a good way to spark a conversation about the Holy Spirit with my older two children. Plus? It will be easy enough for my sleep-deprived self to accomplish. (The other traditional table decoration is to hang birds above your table, to remember the descent of the Holy Spirit. I'm not sure I'll manage this one this year, but I kind of like the idea of slowly building a collection of wooden birds for the purpose. Why only have Christmas ornaments? Why not Pentecost ornaments?)

2) Spicy food: there's also a tradition of eating spicy food on Pentecost, again to represent the flames of fire. I do run into a problem here: the last time I served chili, my daughter informed me, in a tearful voice, "Mom, I am not a spicy person." So, maybe I'll make a curry for my husband and I and pbj for the little ones. Or maybe have cinnamon hearts for dessert? I don't think the kiddoes would object too much to a sweet spicy.

Both of these traditions give a good opportunity to remember the presence of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives, and to contemplate God's great gift of salvation and sanctification. Where would we be without the presence of God's very own self in our lives to help us obey, pray and love?

I don't know if it's a good analogy (I'll have to think about it a little longer) but I wonder if you could say that as the kingdom of heaven is like the little bit of leaven that leavens the whole loaf, the Holy Spirit is like the garam marsala that spices the whole curry? All of our lives have a flavor and savor of Christ solely because his spirit is present in us, by his good grace.

Anyway, that's what I'm thinking about in regards to the upcoming holiday. Anyone else have Pentecost plans?

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell


At A Hen's Pace said...

Wow--you're thinking ahead! Pentecost is not even on my radar screen yet! :)

I love your ideas though--especially the rose petals, which does sound easy enough even for me, too.


Kerry - A Ten O'Clock Scholar said...

Hi Jessica (and Jeanne) - It sounds like you are getting back into the swing of things. :) So glad!

I agree with Jeanne - you are really thinking ahead!

I think I'll opt for red, homemade "confetti" instead of rose petals (don't have any roses - and if I buy some I can't afford to rip them up!). My kids will enjoy tearing up the paper.

Love the idea of hanging birds. We have a number of bird ornaments for our tree...maybe I'll dig them out.

I am looking forward to Pentecost - this will be the first year we really make a concerted attempt to observe it at home.

Amber said...

I just got my copy of Touchstone yesterday and I read your article this morning. I thought it was a lovely article - very well written and inspiring. Congratulations, it was so neat to see your name on the cover. It is too bad though that your URL wasn't mentioned in your brief bio, that would have been nice. But again, congratulations, and I hope to see your byline in that magazine again!