Pentecost: A Celebration of Our Heritage
Who could turn a band of frightened fishermen into powerful preachers? THE HOLY SPIRIT! Who could begin the day with 120 believers, including the twelve disciples and Jesus’ Mother, and end the day with more than 3,000? THE HOLY SPIRIT! And who empowers believers today, adding to their number and challenging them to be a part of His Church? THE HOLY SPIRIT!
PENTECOST is a celebration of the day the gift of the Holy Spirit was sent to the Jesus’ followers. Jesus had promised that He would send the Holy Spirit. He said, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you for ever’ (John 14:16) “Pentecost” means 50 days, because all this happened 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus.
One of the last things Jesus said to his disciples was that they should wait in Jerusalem for His Spirit to come. So they waited and prayed.
There was a special and important feast in Jerusalem at this time, called Pentecost. As well as being a harvest festival, Pentecost was also a time when the Jewish people thanked God for giving them the Law (for example, The Ten Commandments). It was exactly seven weeks after Passover, when Jesus had been killed.
The disciples began this special day by meeting to pray. 120 of them crowded into the room! As they were praying something miraculous happened! Suddenly they heard a noise from heaven! It sounded like a strong wind blowing! Everybody noticed it. Everybody felt iL It swept through the room and then everyone saw what seemed like flames of fire standing on top of each others heads. God had sent His Holy Spirit down from heaven to live inside of each one of them. They all started speaking in languages that they didn’t even know! The Spirit of God had arrived!
Pentecost—what a wonderful opportunity to leam and celebrate. It is very important that our children understand the miraculous and powerful coming of the Holy Spirit. It is the heritage of all believers but especially of those of us who are Pentecostal. The Day of Pentecost holds special meaning for us because we believe Pentecost can come to each of us today.
Object Lesson: A New Wind Is Blowing
Bible truth: God sent His Spirit to us. We can hear, feel and see His work in the world today.
Scripture: Acts 2:1-4
Materials needed: a kite and some small torn up pieces of paper
- We can hear the wind. Discuss some of the sounds the wind makes or listen to a tape of the wind blowing.
- We can see the wind moving things. Take some bits of paper in your hand and blow them into the air. If possible show a short video clip of a wind storm.
- We can feel the wind. Provide fans for each child and allow them to wave them at one another to feel the wind.
The wind is a reminder of a very special day, the day of Pentecost. It was on the day of Pentecost that God sent His Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that Jesus’ followers were all gathered together in an upstairs room praying. Suddenly there was the sound of a mighty wind and everyone in the room was filled with the Holy Spirit. They began speaking in languages they did not understand.
- We can know that the Holy Spirit is there because we can hear him. The Bible tells us that “the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” So we can hear the Spirit speak to our spirits telling us that we belong to God.
- We can see the Holy Spirit moving people to do God’s will. Did you know that the Holy Spirit moved the men who wrote the Bible to write? The Holy Spirit is still moving among people the pray, to give, to obey, to witness, and much more. We can’t see God’s Spirit, but we can see people doing things God’s Holy Spirit has moved them to do.
- We can know that the Holy Spirit is there because we can feel His presence. The Holy Spirit is sometimes called, ‘the one who comes alongside.” God’s Spirit comes alongside you at all times protecting you, guiding you, giving you the power to do God’s will.
The Holy Spirit is like the wind. We can’t see Him but we can hear Him speak to us. We can see the mighty work that He does through men and women and boys and girls. We can feel His presence in our lives.
Object Lesson: Filled With The Spirit
Bible truth: The Holy Spirit helps us to do what God has planned for us to do.
Scripture: Acts 1:8
Materials needed: Three balloons-One marked “Peter,” one marked “Witness and Obey,” and the other is unmarked.
- Tell the story of Pentecost emphasizing that the Holy Spirit came with the sound of the wind. Blow in an unmarked balloon, then ask the children where the air has gone. Then let the balloon go. Ask the children what the balloon is doing. Help the children understand that the Holy Spirit is like the wind. We cannot see the Holy Spirit but we know when someone is filled with the Holy Spirit because we see how the Spirit works in him.
- Emphasize that Jesus gave the disciples a big job to do when He went back to heaven. He told them to preach the gospel to every person on earth. How could they do this? Peter and the other disciples must have been very frightened. (Show the balloon marked “Peter.”) They were like this balloon. They couldn’t possibly do what Jesus had asked them to do without help. But then Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. (Blow up the balloon.) After the Holy Spirit came Peter stood up and told the story of Jesus to thousands of people who had come to see what had happened. The other disciples stood up and talked too. Three thousand people became Christians that day, because the Holy Spirit had come and filled the disciples. The Holy Spirit had made them able to tell others the story of Jesus.. (Let the air out of the balloon slowly).
- That happened long ago. Do you think the Holy Spirit still works today? Yes, He can work in us the very same way he worked in the disciples. (Show the other marked balloon.) You and I are like the disciples. We are Christians. We want to tell others about Jesus. We want to be obedient to all the things God has commanded us to do. But we can’t do it by ourselves. (Blow up the balloon.) We need to filled with the Holy Spirit He will help us witness. He will help us obey. (Let the balloon fly.) Look at the balloons now. Each of them are down. That’s the difference between the air in the balloons and the powerful wind of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has all power because He is God. He is always with you. Ask God to fill you with His Spirit. Then you will have the power to do His work here on earth.