Do you like to celebrate birthdays? As we get older we may not like to celebrate our birthday as it reminds us of how old we are, and the fragility of life. By the time you read this, the Queen will have celebrated her 90th birthday on the 21st April and you will be hearing more about plans to celebrate that birthday, when she has her official birthday weekend of 10th-12th June.
In Belton there will be a Garden Party in the Rectory Garden on the Saturday afternoon and evening where there will be fun and games, stalls, afternoon tea, and a BBQ and music later in the day. At Burgh Castle we shall be celebrating on the Sunday with a Right Royal Birthday Afternoon Tea served in the Village Hall, followed by a Right Royal Songs of Praise in Church. If we need a reason to celebrate ? Her Majesty?s 90th Birthday is one good reason!
If you have been to the Burns Night in Burgh Castle (or any of our social events) or to the Christmas Party in Belton Church, you will know that the churches like to party, and we shall be celebrating the birthday of the Church in both our churches on Sunday 15th May. It is Pentecost (or Whit Sunday as some may remember it). It?s the birthday of the Church! We remember and celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus to be present with and support his followers after his return to heaven. What a day!
On the first Pentecost, Jesus? followers ? his disciples and friends ? were in Jerusalem together, praying, when what is described as the sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting, and they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Pentecost is the Greek name for Shavuot, a major festival in the Jewish calendar, remembering the giving of the Law to Moses at Sinai so there were Jews from many nations present in Jerusalem at that time.
The disciples spilled out from the house where they were gathered, speaking about Jesus in many different languages, and those who were in Jerusalem heard what they said and about 3000 became followers of Jesus that day. When they went home they took the Christian faith with them to places such as Egypt, Asia, Rome and Libya and the church was birthed, to spread across the whole world. So churches celebrate two birthdays, just like the Queen! Jesus? birthday at Christmas and his church?s birthday at Pentecost. At the services in both churches there will be cake, and at Belton ? as it?s Caf? Church ? I?m sure there will be plenty of fun and games too!
The purpose of the church is to continue the work that Jesus began when he was on the earth; preaching and teaching the gospel of good news; of peace and reconciliation in relationship with God and with one another; of God?s power to heal as well as caring, loving and serving those around us. The churches in Belton & Burgh Castle both seek to continue the work of Jesus, in the best way we can. It might not be perfect, but we seek to do our best. So come and celebrate the church?s birthday with us on Sunday 19th May ? as well as the Queen?s birthday on the 11th/12th June. You will be made very welcome.