This coming Sunday, May 23rd, marks a very special day in the church calendar: Pentecost Sunday. The term “Pentecost” comes from the Greek word pentekostos, meaning fiftieth. Fifty days after Passover, Jewish people celebrated Shavuot (also called Festival of Weeks or Harvest/Reaping (Hebrew: חג השבועות, Ḥag ha-Shavuot) as found in Lev. 23:15–21; Exo. 23:16. Jewish Pentecost became one of the great pilgrimage feasts for the post-exilic Jews. Diaspora Jews made pilgrimages back to Jerusalem.
For Christians, this celebration of Pentecost has been a long tradition. It is one of the most important celebrations after Christmas and Easter. Since about the 2nd century, Christians have since celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit 50 days after the death and resurrection of Jesus, on the Jewish feast of Pentecost. This was witnessed or testified by the charisms/charismata being endowed up0n followers of Christ during the Festival of Weeks in Jerusalem. This day marks the birth of the universal church of Christ on earth and many churches will be celebrating Pentecost Sunday.
Pentecostal and charismatic Christians regard the word “Pentecost” with greater relevance for today because they claim that the gifts (“charismata”) of the Holy Spirit are still being practiced today, and to a greater extent in Asia, Africa, and South America.
Testimonies and claims concerning the charismata (gifts of the Holy Spirit, e.g., Acts 2; 1 Cor. 12) being exercised in the church seem to be less frequent in the northern hemisphere (i.e., North America, Europe) and more frequent in the southern hemisphere. Why?