Sunday, May 11, 2008


Today is the first day of Pentecost, when the first believers in Jerusalem received the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire on their heads (first few chapters of Acts in the New Testament). This is a national holiday here in Norway, as is tomorrow (it being the second day of Pentecost). It seems like they have a holiday almost every week here, but my uncle says I'm just experiencing what it's like in May, which happens to have tons of holidays in it. Which is a great thing after such a long winter - the sun shines and you're able to enjoy the day without having to worry about work.
A lot of people take the extra time to work outside and get their gardens ready, as well as doing other general maintenance around the house and having barbecues with friends and family. Norway is a pretty social culture - not like the US where people are glued to their TVs or computers.
But regarding holidays, it's interesting that so many of them are based around the church calendar, though most people who live here in Norway would probably tell you there's no God. "There's no God, but I'll enjoy the holidays He gives us!" Seems like quite a funny mindset.
It's interesting that so much of the societal framework we depend on and take for granted - laws based on morality, a system of government founded on the premise that the hearts of humans are bad and checks and balances are necessary, the simple distinction between good and bad, right and wrong - so much of it was founded on biblical truths by people who sincerely believed the scriptures to be the word of God, yet so easily people slip into worshipping the created framework and denying the existence of the one who created the foundation of truth in the first place.
Well, on Pentecost the believers received the Spirit of God, which enabled them to proclaim boldly the truth of the Gospel. "God is One and His name is One," they may have said, "And His name is Yeshua - the Lord Saves, Jesus the Christ of Nazareth, of Bethlehem, a Benjaminite of the tribe of David, a light to the Gentiles and to his people Israel - salvation to all those who call on His name." May I speak so boldly to those around me.

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