There is one point at which the Jewish festal calendar and the Christian calendar intersect, and it is Shavuot, also known as Pentecost. This year, the Jewish people will celebrate Shavuot (shah-voo-OAT) beginning at sundown on Saturday, June 11th. You’d be right in wondering how Shavuot and Pentecost align since the Western Church celebrated Pentecost on May 15th, and the Eastern (Orthodox) Church marks the day this year on June 19th.
While the dates may diverge, Shavuot is the closest spiritual connection point between the lunar-based Jewish calendar prescribed by God in Leviticus 23 and the lunar/solar hybrid calendar worship cycle developed by the early Christian church. Shavuot was originally a celebration of God’s care through his provision of the fruit of the earth – grain. After the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, the people could no longer fulfill the specific requirements, religious leaders found ways to honor Shavuot’s original emphasis while shifting the focus to rejoice in God’s gift of the Law to the people at Sinai. [Read more]