The season between Easter and Pentecost is known as the Great Fifty Days for the simple reason that Pentecost follows Easter by that many days. During the first forty days after his resurrection, as reported in the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus appeared to his followers on several occasions and instructed them in what they must do. Later, some of his followers wrote down what they had learned, and those writings are included in the New Testament. One of the instructions Jesus gave was to remain in Jerusalem until they received a special gift from God. Not knowing what this might mean, Jesus’ followers stayed in Jerusalem and waited. If they had expected a victorious military Messiah, they clearly had not gotten one. And yet Jesus had demonstrated power to defeat death. Their despair at Jesus’ execution had turned to joy and wonder, and more was to come. After forty days . . . but that is another story.