Filled with the Holy Spirit
Being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Enough balloons to give one to each child.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:4 (NIV)
As you see, I have a balloon today. You can have a lot of fun with a balloon. I have seen some people who can take a long, skinny balloon and make it into the shape of different animals. Have you ever tried that? If you have a round balloon, you can toss it up into the air and see how long you can keep it up without it hitting the ground. I have even played a game in which you tie a balloon to your ankle and play "stomp the balloon" with other children. That is a lot of fun.
Look at the balloon I am holding. I think it is a very nice balloon. It is a pretty color, red is one of my favorite colors, and by looking at the shape of it, I think it would be a very nice round balloon. There seems to be something lacking in the balloon. Can anyone tell me what this balloon needs? You are right. It needs to be filled with air! Before a balloon can fulfill its purpose, someone must breathe some life into it.
I think this balloon can help us to learn something about the church. Today is a very special day. It is a day we call Pentecost. Do you know what happened on that the day of Pentecost? It was the day that God sent his Holy Spirit to breathe life into His church so that the church would be all that God intended for it to be. Before God sent his Holy Spirit, the church was lifeless -- like this balloon. The church was not witnessing and telling people about Jesus. After the Holy Spirit breathed life into the church, people began telling everyone they saw about Jesus. It didn't even matter if they spoke the same language. They told everyone about Jesus and they understood. Thousands of people were added to the church. The church became alive and was doing the things God had commanded.
I have a balloon for each of you. I want you to take the balloon and -- as you breathe life into it -- remember that just as the balloon needs to be filled to be what it was intended to be, you and I need the Holy Spirit to fill us so that we can be all that God wants us to be.
Let us pray.
We thank you, Lord God, for sending your Holy Spirit. We thank you for breathing life into the church and we thank you for giving your spirit to all who believe. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.