The wheat was ripening last weekend when Becky and I traveled in Illinois. I imagine our former neighbors from when we lived east of Collinsville are thinking of getting their combines in working order once again.
Tomorrow we celebrate Pentecost, originally a festival of joy and thanksgiving for the wheat harvest. Pentecost came fifty days after Passover and was one of the three great pilgrimage festivals in Judaism. The reading from Acts 2, will include a listing of the nations represented in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples with the sound of wind and tongues like fire enabling them to be heard in a multiplicity of languages.
This was a fulfillment of OT promises that God would gather his scattered people from the four the winds back to Jerusalem. Thus, on Pentecost there were people from all directions. From east of the Roman Empire were Parthians, Medes and Elamites, closer in were others from Mesopotamia and Judea. From the north in the regions of Asia Minor (Turkey) were people from Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, also Phrygia and Pamphylia. From the south individuals from the large Jewish population centers of Alexandria, Egypt and from Cyrene in Libya. Moving west individuals had arrived from the Rome. Completing the picture, island dwellers from Crete and those from the desert regions of Arabia.
Easterners and Westerners were gathered in Jerusalem, when the meaning of the wheat harvest day of joy and thanksgiving was changed to the beginning of the world-wide harvest of people still going on today as the seed of the Gospel is planted, sprouts, grows and ripens in the hearts of those who hear and respond in the power of the Holy Spirit.