Thursday, 31 May 2012

Pentecost - good news to share

Last time I came to school I told you about when Jesus went back to heaven. His friends felt sad. They missed him, and they wondered how they would manage without him. He had given them a big job to do, to tell other people that God loved them and wanted to help them, but they didn’t know how they would do it.
He had said that even if they couldn’t see him, God would still be close to them to help them through his Holy Spirit, but they didn’t know how. All they could see were the problems.

One day they all gathered together in a room in Jerusalem. It was the Day of Pentecost, a big Jewish time of celebration, but they didn’t feel much like a party. They were praying together. Lord, help us to tell others about you – we don’t know how we are going to do it.”

Choose four children to help –

Then, as they prayed, a strange thing happened. They could hear a sound, like the sound of a rushing wind…but there was no wind blowing.

(Give two of the children bunches of blue and white crepe paper streamers and let them wave them like wind. It is important to feel confident that you can stop the children when you need to, though, otherwise you will have a complete riot – they enjoy this bit!)

It felt good – very exciting. Suddenly the disciples started to feel that maybe God was with them,. They couldn’t see him but they felt like they had done when Jesus was around – as if everything would be all right. So this was the Holy Spirit – God close to you right where you were, right inside you!

Then they looked around at each other, and each one of them was shining with excitement. It was like flames were dancing on their heads.

(Give the other two children bunches of red and yellow streamers and get them to wave them.)

“Of course we can do it, “ they said. “We can do what God asked. In fact, how can we not tell other people – it is the most exciting thing in the world – God loves them and wants to help them. They can have a new start!”

They were so excited that they all rushed out of the house and started talking to people. Even the people in the crowd who had come from far away, who spoke a different language understood what they were saying.
And from that beginning they took their good news out all across the world, showing people how to live as Jesus had taught them, loving one another, and when they felt down they remembered that God was with them and the day that he had come to them like wind and flames. (Shake the streamers)

  • Can you tell me about a time when you had some really good news to share – something really exciting that you couldn’t wait to tell your friends? (could pass around the streamers for children to shake as they share their good news, though I didn’t as I was starting to run out of  time.) The children shared various things – new friends they’d made, a new baby on the way, a new puppy, a set of times tables finally mastered…
  • It is often easier to think of things to grumble about – but if we love and care for each other, we will find that there is always good news to get excited about, and that will encourage us to feel we can do things that are difficult

Prayer – thank you that you are always close to us through your Holy Spirit. Thank you for all the things that make us feel happy and excited. Help us to see the good news in the world and be ready to share it.

 The point of this was really to convey the sense of excitement the disciples felt on the day of Pentecost, and how this helped them to share their good news. They knew that God was with them. The children were dead keen to shake the streamers, and there was lots of laughter, and when asked to share their own good news, they were very keen to do so, so it seemed to work!