Jun 1, 2011

A Story for Pentecost Sunday

Here's a story you might use with children on Pentecost Sunday.

The Story of Pentecost

Does anyone know what special day today is?  This is a very special day in the life of the church – do you know what it is?  (If you don’t know, maybe your parents can help.) I’ll give you a hint – it’s a birthday.  (Pentecost!)  Today we celebrate the birthday of the church.  

Does anyone know how old the church is?  (Any guesses?  Older than your grandma and grandpa!)  We’re not quite sure, but it’s getting close to 2000 years old.  That’s a lot of candles!

Do you know the story of how the church was born? It’s a great story!  (You can read all about it in the book of Acts, chapter 2.) 

The story takes place in the city of Jerusalem, not long after Jesus had been raised from the dead.  The disciples had all gathered together in the city, as Jesus had told them. They were waiting for the gift of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised to them.  

On the day of Pentecost they were all together in one room.  And suddenly there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty tornado. It filled the whole house where they were meeting.  And flames of fire came down from heaven and rested just above the head of each person in the room.  And when this happened, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages—even languages they had never spoken before!

It caused a big commotion—such a big commotion that other people came running to see what was going on. And when they saw and heard the Christians speaking in all these different languages, they were confused. “How can this be?” they asked.  “We come from many different countries, and we all speak many different languages, and yet each of us can understand what these people are saying.”

And then Peter stepped forward.  He explained to the crowd that Jesus of Nazareth—whom they had crucified barely two months before—had been raised from the dead, and was now up in heaven, sitting at the right hand of God.  He told them that Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for—sent by God for the salvation of the world.

Many of the people in the crowd were deeply moved. They asked Peter, “What should we do?”  He told them to turn away from their sins, to turn to God, and to be baptized.  And the Bible tells us that 3000 people were baptized and added to the church that day. 

Can you imagine what it would have been like to have been there?  To have felt and heard and experienced firsthand God’s Spirit at work. To have been part of the new thing that God was creating that day – this new community of faith:  the church.

Well, we might not have been there in Jerusalem 2000 years ago, but we are part of it, aren’t we?  We too are part of the church—the family of God—that came into being on that day in Jerusalem so long ago.

And just as God’s Spirit filled and inspired those first Christians, so God also fills and inspires all of us who are open to the coming of His Holy Spirit. Praise God!


For more intergenerational ideas for Pentecost worship, see Intergenerational Worship on Pentecost

For other general worship resources for Pentecost Sunday, click on Pentecost in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.