We've Got the Spirit
God sends the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
Streamers of red, orange, and yellow crepe paper to represent fire.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4 (NIV)
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Today is Pentecost Sunday. It is a day that we remember and celebrate a very special event in the early days of the church. Does anyone know what happened that was so important? (Give the children the opportunity to respond.) Well, let's look at today's Bible lesson and see what Pentecost is all about.
When Jesus told his disciples that he was going to return to heaven, he promised them that he would ask the Father to send another helper to be with them. That was a wonderful promise that Jesus gave his followers, but Peter, James, John, Andrew, and the rest of the disciples weren't really sure exactly what that meant.
After Jesus had ascended into heaven, the Bible tells us that his followers were gathered together in one place. They were gathered to celebrate a festival called Pentecost when they gave an offering to God of the firstfruits of their harvest.
Suddenly, they heard a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind. Next, they saw what appeared to be tongues of fire that came to rest upon the heads of each one of them. That would have been pretty amazing if that had been all that happened, but it wasn't. The Bible tells us that, after the wind and fire, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in other languages. Everyone there could understand what was being said regardless of what language they spoke.
That is an amazing story about God sending the Holy Spirit, isn't it? What is really amazing is that the Holy Spirit didn't come that one time and then go away. The Spirit still lives in the hearts of Christ's followers and the Spirit is with us here today. The Holy Spirit guides us in the decisions we make each day. He is the comforter who calms our fears and fills us with hope. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Scripture and helps us to understand what we read. The Holy Spirit is to help us, so let us listen to Him and do what he leads us to do.
This is very exciting! I think it would be good for us to have a celebration to thank God for sending us the Holy Spirit. I have some red, orange, and yellow streamers to pass out to you. Can you guess why I chose those colors? That's right! Those colors represent the fire that rested on the followers of Jesus on the day of Pentecost. When all of you have your streamers, we are going to celebrate by waving them above our heads as we sing, "I've Got the Holy Spirit Down In My Heart". (Sung to the tune "I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy")
Heavenly Father, we are thankful to you for sending the Holy Spirit to live within us and to be our comforter, teacher, and guide. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.