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BIBLE PASSAGE: Acts 2:1-41
BACKGROUND: Reflect on the miracle of people hearing about Jesus in their own languages, and ask the Holy Spirit to help each child share something true about Jesus with someone else.
Welcome the children and share out any refreshments you have. What shapes can the children make with their mouths and lips? What can they do with their voices? Encourage imaginative suggestions.
You will need: small pieces of card roughly measuring 5cm by 5cm; felt-tip pens Before the session, make sets of playing cards by drawing the following images on cards: the outline of an upturned mouth, a downturned sad mouth, a ‘straight’ mouth, an open mouth and either a flame or ’flickering’ squiggle. You will need one set per child.
Hide the cards around your space and show the children a copy of the five cards. Challenge them to find as many individual cards as they can, then ensure that each child has a full set of five. If there is time, play a game of snap. You’ll need to add in extra cards for a longer game.
You will need: a set of cards from ‘Intro activity’ for each child
Remind the group of the ascension story from last week. Jesus’ friends had gone into the city of Jerusalem and were waiting. Jesus had told them he would send the Holy Spirit to them. They waited on Friday and on Saturday and on Sunday and on Monday and on Tuesday and on Wednes- day and on Thursday and on Friday and
on Saturday. How long were they going to have to wait? They were puzzled. Show the ‘straight mouth’ card.
Sunday came around again; the day when they remembered Jesus had come alive again; the first day of the week! This Sunday was a special festival, Pentecost, when everyone celebrated the fact that the wheat had been harvested. Pentecost was also the festival when everyone
remembered that God had given Moses the Ten Commandments. All Jesus’ friends had gathered together in one large room. They were still waiting.
And then…suddenly there was a loud sound, coming from above them. The sound was like a wild, wild wind; a wind that seemed to crash from one wall to another.
They felt it on their faces. They heard it with their ears. It blew their hair all over the place. It ruffled their clothes. And then…suddenly they saw orange and yellow flickering, like flames, darting around the room, and finally a flickering flame settled on each person’s head. Show the ‘flickering’ card.
The Holy Spirit had come. Everyone in the room began to speak in different languages. Ask how many different languages the children can name. Show
the ‘open mouth’ card. The Holy Spirit, who is ‘God everywhere’, had come to be with everyone who loves Jesus; not just then, but for all time. For now! Jesus had gone to be with his Father. He had sent the Holy Spirit in his place. Jesus’ followers were very happy and excited! Show the ‘upturned mouth’ card.
This Sunday was a special day in Jeru- salem. It was the end of the wheat harvest, called Pentecost. Hundreds of Jewish people were visiting from lots of different countries that we now know as Israel, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iran. They all spoke different languages. But now they could hear Jesus’ followers speaking their own languages. They were amazed. What was going on?
Peter stood up, opened his mouth and began to talk in a loud, clear voice. Show the ‘open mouth’ card again. He told them everything that Jesus had done. He told them how, years earlier, God’s people had been told that Jesus would come. He told them how Jesus had died but come back to life again, and had then gone back to be with his Father, God.
The crowds got upset and sad. Show the ‘downturned mouth’ card.
“What do we have to do?” they called out.
Peter simply said: “Turn back to God. He will forgive you for the wrong things you’ve done. He will wash them away. You too will receive the Holy Spirit. This is for you and for your children, wherever you live.”
Wow! The crowds were amazed at this, and thousands of them turned back to God. Thousands knew that God had forgiven them. The Holy Spirit was with them. Show the ‘upturned mouth’ card.
Use these questions to talk about the story, encouraging everyone to join in:
- What miracles that Jesus did can you think of? What about the miracle of the Holy Spirit coming, of the wild wind, the flickering and the speaking in lots of languages?
- Why was it an important miracle that people visiting Jerusalem could hear what Peter had to say about Jesus in their own languages?
- Why is it important everyone has a chance to hear about Jesus?
Share a time recently when you have been able to tell someone a truth about Jesus. (It’s important for them to realise that this is true today, and that you needed the Holy Spirit to give you the best words to speak.)
You will need: lollipop sticks; elastic bands; little stickers; strips of yellow, orange and red paper (as long as possible) with some- thing true about Jesus written on, such as ‘Jesus came alive again’, ‘Jesus loves me’, ‘Jesus made sick people well’ and ‘Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with me’
Let the children choose at least six strips of paper to decorate with stickers. Fasten them together on the end of the stick with an elastic band. Encourage everyone to wave their streamers and shout the true statements about Jesus.
You will need: a lit candle
Sit in a circle and light a candle. Ask each child to think of someone they would like to tell something true about Jesus. Invite each child to share the name of the person they have thought of, and what it is about Jesus they want to say. Remind them how the Holy Spirit helped you when you did this.
Go around the circle and simply pray over each child:
“Holy Spirit, be with , and help them share something true about Jesus with .”
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