Scripture: You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD. Leviticus 23:16 ESV
Observation: The Feast of Weeks is celebrated fifty days after Passover. Hence it is also known as Pentecost (Greek for the number “50”) in the Christian Church. Like the Feast of Firstfruits, the supplicant would present a waive offering of grain to the Lord, but in this instance, it was in the form of two loaves of leavened bread from the grain of the wheat harvest (which came to a head about fifty days after the barley harvest). And while the Feast of Firstfruits required one male lamb, the Feast of Weeks mandated:
- seven one-year-old lambs, two rams, and a bull as burnt offerings,
- a male goat as a sin offering, and
- two male lambs as peace offerings.
That’s a lot of animals the priests would butcher and then consume (of the dedicated portion). It sounds more like a Feast of Meats—lol!
Also similar to Firstfruits, the Feast of Weeks stood as a holy convocation for a day of rest. And aligning with Firstfruits, the farmer must not reap the crops to the edge of the field nor gather the gleanings so that the poor and sojourner may benefit from the Lord’s bounty.
Takeaway: With the birth of the Church occurring on the Sunday of the Feast of Weeks, Pentecost became not only an apt name for this holy day but a symbolic fulfillment of the purpose of celebrating the feast. For our Holy Spirit would move in the hearts of followers of Christ, starting with his first disciples, and usher in a new phase of God’s saving work: extending the harvest to the Gentiles.
So what does this mean for you and me? We, the first fruits of our divine Harvester, are compelled to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice of worship (Romans 12:1) to our Lord in love and obedience to his command to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). Thus, our harvest of grace inspires us to make perpetual offerings—not just one day of the year but throughout our Christian journey founded on a deep and abiding sense of gratitude for our Father giving us his best in his Son.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for providing us an exceeding harvest of your Son’s joy, peace, and grace that brings an “abundant life” here and now (John 10:10) and eternal joy in your heavenly kingdom (John 14:3). So would you please help us to generously, offer the first fruits of your gifts back to you as expressed in gratefully serving you as your harvesters of the least, the last, and the lost (Luke 10:2)? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling