Children and Parents,
As we continue to shelter in place, here’s a reflection for you to use at home, based on the readings for Pentecost Sunday.
Lesson: Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church
Scriptures: Acts 2:1-41
Before Jesus left his disciples, he promised them that God’s own Spirit — the Holy Spirit — would come to them, and help them to remember and practice all that Jesus had taught them. Fifty days after Jesus left, while the disciples were in Jerusalem for a harvest festival called Pentecost, the promise came true, and God sent the gift of the Holy Spirit!
The disciples had come together to pray and care for each other, and suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a strong wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. Next, they saw tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. At that moment, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in different languages — languages they had never even studied!
People from many different countries were visiting Jerusalem that day, and they all spoke different languages. These people ran over to see what all the noise was about and were surprised to hear the disciples talking about God in languages they could understand! How was this happening? It must have sounded crazy!
The disciple Peter bravely stood up, and explained to the crowds what was going on. Peter told them all about Jesus, and encouraged them to repent (say they’re sorry and stop doing bad things), and be baptized so that others would know that they believed in God’s Son. Because of Jesus’s death and resurrection, all people, no matter where they came from, and no matter what languages they spoke, could be forgiven and experience God’s love.
The people listened carefully to Peter. Three thousand of them believed what he was saying, and decided to get baptized and follow Jesus that very day. Today, over two thousand years later, we celebrate Pentecost Sunday as the birthday of the Church!
Click here to watch an animated version of this lesson.
1. What languages do you speak? What is it like to hear someone speak in a language you don’t understand?
2. How do you like to celebrate birthdays? Why do you think Pentecost is considered the birthday of the Church?
3. God still gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit, to guide us, teach us, and help us to know God’s love. What are some ways you have experienced God’s love?