Thursday, 16 June 2011

Pentecost: the fruits of the Spirit SEAL theme Change

You will need: Cards with pictures of the seven Pentecost (Shavuot) fruits - dates, olives, figs, grapes, barley, wheat and pomegranates. You could use the real thing, if you can find them.
Cards with the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5.22) written on them – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
A large basket or trug

As the children arrive give out at random pictures of the Pentecost fruits (dates, olives, figs, grapes, barley, wheat and pomegranates) and cards with the fruits of the spirit (Gal 5.22) written on them – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

It was a special time in Jerusalem – a festival time, like Christmas or Easter is in our country – and Jesus’ friends had all gathered together. It was the festival of Pentecost. This was a sort of harvest festival, when everyone gave thanks for the crops that had started to ripen. They brought a basket of the first fruits, the things which had just started to be ready to eat, to the Temple.

Who has some pictures of those crops? Children bring out pictures and stick them in the bottom of a basket.

It was a time when people gave thanks for all that God had given to them to help them live. It was a very happy time. But the disciples weren’t happy at all. Jesus had left them and gone into heaven. He had told them that now they had to do the things that he used to do – helping people and telling them about God. But they didn’t know how, and they didn’t think they had what they needed to do that. They might have a basket full of dates and figs and olives, but they didn’t have hearts full of the things they knew they would need if they were going to be like Jesus. He was loving and patient and kind, and they knew that often they weren’t at all…
So they all gathered together to pray to God to help them.
And as they prayed something strange happened. They didn’t know quite how to describe it, but they knew that God was close to them. They couldn’t see him, but they knew he was there.

They heard the sound of a rushing wind – but there wasn’t a wind blowing. They felt all excited inside, just as if they were on fire. And when they looked it was as if flames were dancing on all their heads.

Suddenly they knew that God was going to help them grow into the people they needed to be to do his work. He would help them be loving and joyful and patient and kind, just like he helped the crops to grow.

Suddenly they felt really confident, really sure, that with God’s help they could tell others about him. They rushed out into the street and began to talk to the people there. And even if those people didn’t speak the same language as them, they seemed to be able to understand. And soon the message of Jesus started to spread out…They were on their way…

Much later on one Christian leader, St Paul, described the way we grow and change into the kind of people God wants us to be as being like a tree growing fruit – like the fruit people brought in their Pentecost baskets. This sort of fruit wasn’t the kind you could eat, though.

Who has got some words? Children bring out words and stick around basket.

The fruit of God’s Spirit, he said, was love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

Prayer – ask God to help us have lots of the good fruit of the Spirit in our lives to share and/or think of those we know who are loving, kind etc...

This is the text of the notice I displayed with the finished Pentecost basket.

"At the Jewish feast of Pentecost (Shavuot), people brought baskets full of the fruits and crops that were growing around them to give thanks to God.

The New Testament says that it was at this festival that Jesus’ followers first felt the presence of God’s Holy Spirit with them.

St Paul says in the Bible that the Holy Spirit helps us to grow good “fruit” in our lives.
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.” Galatians 5.22"

1 comment:

  1. I love the Fruit of the Spirit. Interactive lessons like this keep children interested too. I tend to lecture too much myself. If someone were planning on using this theme for a VBS or summer camp they may like these T-shirts too: