MEETING AIM: To discover the transforming nature of the Holy Spirit.
BIBLE PASSAGE: Acts 2:1-41
BACKGROUND: In this family time, we are exploring the story of Pentecost. Here, we’re looking to help your children understand that the Holy Spirit helps us to share the good news of Jesus, just like he did at the first Pentecost. The Holy Spirit enables us to keep sharing the news that Jesus loves us, died for us and forgives everyone.
Start your time together with some simple refreshments and chat about what your children have found exciting today (or yesterday, if you’re doing this in the morning). Ask your family when they have heard anyone speak another language, or if they can say anything in another language.
You will need: small prizes; things that can act as buzzers (eg horn, kazoo or bell); Bible
Give each of your family a ‘buzzer’. The game is a competition to guess what the words in foreign languages mean.
Read out the different words in their languages; give four points if they guess on the first word, three on the second, two on the third, or one for the fourth. If they guess wrongly, they have to wait for anyone else to guess before they can have another go:
Jesus: Isa (Turkish), Gesù (Italian), Iesus (Latin), Jeesus (Estonian)
Fire: Fuego (Spanish), Fuoco (Italian), Feu (French), Feuer (German)
Speak: Schwärtzen (Luxembourgish), Parler (French), Parlo (Italian), Spreken (Dutch)
Holy Spirit: Espírito Santo (Portuguese), Heilige Geest (Dutch), Esprit Saint (French), Spirito Santo (Italian)
Peter: Patrus (Nepali), Petros (Greek), Pierre (French), Pedro (Spanish)
Baptise: Krikštykite (Lithuanian), Pembaptisam (Malay), Bautizo (Spanish), Baptise (Norwegian)
Amazing: Fantastike (Danish), Verbazingwekkend (Dutch), Surpreedente (Portuguese), Incroyable (French)
Tongue: Lingua (Italian), Zunge (German), Tunge (Norwegian), Tong (Dutch)
Pentecost: Penetekota (Hawaiian), Pentekoste (Maltese), Pentikostí (Greek), Pentecôte (French)
At the end of the game, ask if anyone knows the Pentecost story? See if your children can recap what they know.
Read the first part of the passage (verses 1-13) and if they can count how many languages are named as you read it.
Explain that you’ve looked at how the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to speak lots of different languages. In the next part of the passage, we read about Peter trying to explain what has been going on to the crowd. Again, the Holy Spirit gives Peter the words to communicate and preach the good news about Jesus dying and rising from the dead.
Explain that the problem we some-times have reading the Bible today is that the language doesn’t always make sense to us. Even though it’s in English, sometimes it’s a funny-sounding English that isn’t how we talk every day. The Bible challenge today is to see if we can make sense of what Peter said using our everyday English.
Take a look at the part of the passage where Peter speaks. Make sure everyone can see a printout of this part of the passage. Together, can you translate some of the words into more simple language that your children and their friends would understand?
Chat about the story using these questions:
•What do we learn about the Holy Spirit in this passage?
•What did the Holy Spirit enable the disciples to do?
•Why do you think the disciples being able to talk in different languages was important?
•What are the good things that Christians have to tell people about?
•How can we ask the Holy Spirit to help us share the good news about Jesus today?
You will need: glass jars (one per family member), PVA glue; brushes; different coloured tissue paper; marker pens that will write on glass
Make a Pentecost tealight holder by gluing strips of tissue paper to the outside of the jar to look like flames. In other spaces around the jar, write down words from the translated passage that give you hope, remembering the message of hope at Pentecost. (It might be worth making an example of one to help your children.) As you work, continue chatting about the Bible passage and some of the things you discussed in ‘Chatting together’. If appropriate, share a story about how the Spirit has helped you and worked in your life.
You will need: battery-operated tealights; jars from ‘Creative response’
Explain that the same Holy Spirit who you’ve been learning about, who came to the disciples at Pentecost, still lives in us today, and helps us spread the good news that Jesus has died for us and risen again.
Give everyone a tealight and invite them to turn the candles on, and put them in the jars as you pray, as a sign of asking the Holy Spirit to live in us. Then pray a prayer of thanks for the Holy Spirit and ask him to help you share the good news of Jesus.
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