This Sunday we will celebrate Pentecost. It is the birthday of the church and, if we were gathering in the church building, we would probably have a birthday cake to share after worship! The church would be decorated with the color red. (We will do these things next year!) At worship this week, you are invited to wear the color red to remind us of this day of celebration AND to remind us of fire!
On Sunday you will hear the story of the first Pentecost. It was fifty days after Passover. Jewish men from all around had travelled to Jerusalem to celebrate a Jewish harvest festival. It was also fifty days after Jesus’ death’. Jesus had risen to heaven to be with God, and Jesus’ followers were not sure they could share Jesus’ faith without him. On the morning of the festival, many people who followed Jesus gathered together in a home. These people were from many different places: Parthia. Judea, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Rome and many more. They spoke many different languages.
As Jesus’ followers gathered together, they heard a noise from heaven that sounded like a strong wind blowing. The noise filled the whole house, and they saw something that looked like flames of fire. The people in the house were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to speak languages that they did not know! People who spoke different languages could suddenly understand each other when they talked about God!
They were amazed! And confused! But the disciple Peter reminded them what God had promised:
“ I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and your daughters will tell you about the future. Your young people shall see visions, and your elders shall dream dreams.”
When the spirit of God entered the house, the people could hear and understand each other. They all knew that Jesus had gone to be with God. Even though they were from different places, and spoke different languages, they knew that God’s Holy Spirit was with them. They suddenly understood that no matter where we are, we are never alone. God’s Holy Spirit is always with us. They also understood that we are connected to each other by God’s Holy Spirit. –Adapted from The International Children’s Bible Acts 2: 1-21
“Your sons and your daughters will tell you about the future. Your young people shall see visions, and your elders shall dream dreams.” The Holy Spirit enters us when we take time to sit quietly. Sit quietly, and think about these questions.
- What are your dreams for the future?
- What do you think the world will be like when you are grown up?
- How can you make the world better?
Write down your thoughts, or share your thoughts with your family or friends.
We won’t be sharing a birthday cake this Sunday – but we can all wear RED, we can all sing, and we can all work together to make the world better. Here are some other things you can do to celebrate!
- Sing “Happy Birthday” to the church.
- Fly a kite this weekend, or hang up a windsock, and listen for the sound of the wind.
- God wants us to love and care for one another. Learn to say “Hello” in a new language, or learn to say “I love you” in a new language.
- A dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Make an origami dove. (This can be hard, so you may need help from one of your parents or from an older brother or sister.)
- Sit quietly and complete this finger labyrinth. Think about the word “Hope.” What do you hope for today?
As you go through the week ahead, remember that no matter where you are, you are never alone. God’s spirit is always with you and connects each of us to those around us, even to people we have never met. May the week ahead be filled with hope, with the spirit of new discoveries, and with the spirit of new friends.