Ascension

Ascension falls on the fortieth day after Easter and Jesus’ resurrection. It marks the day when he was taken up to Heaven in his resurrected body.

In Acts it says that before he rose to Heaven, Jesus told his watching disciples to continue preaching his message. An angel tells them that when Jesus returns to Earth it will take place in the same way as his ascension.

Pentecost

Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Easter and is when Christians remember the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the third part of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is how Christians understand God, and is the means by which God is active on Earth.

In Acts 2:3 it says that after his ascension, Jesus’ disciples were gathered together when the Holy Spirit descended on them like “tongues of fire”. It was after this event that the disciples began to preach Jesus’ message throughout the world. For this reason, Pentecost is viewed as the birthday of the Christian Church and the start of its mission to the world.

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Pentecost is a festival of celebration and the church is often decorated in red as a symbol of the “tongues of fire”.

Harvest

Churches often hold Harvest festivals in the autumn. They thank God for nature and the food from the harvest.

Christians bring gifts of food to churches or schools. These gifts are distributed to the less fortunate in the community. Sometimes money is collected for charities.

Why is Harvest important for Christians?

It is a time to give thanks to God for the food and good things that He provides.

It helps Christians to remember that not everyone has as much as they do and challenges them to be generous to others.

It reminds Christians of God’s faithfulness in continuing to provide for us.

However, for many people Harvest festivals have less value as they do not recognise God as the one who gives and provides for our needs.

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