Sunday 31 May – Pentecost reflection

Holy Spirit,
Wrap your dove wings around us,
Spark your bright flame with us
Blow your refreshing wind among us,
So that we can be your Pentecost people today

Readings for Sunday 31 May: Acts 2:1-21; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13; John 20:19-23.

Come Holy Spirit  – An all-age reflection for Pentecost

If we had been in church today we would have had all-age worship, a service which tries especially to include children. It’s kind of hard to do that in a letter, but today’s reflection is a bit different and asks you to think creatively about what the day of Pentecost might have been like. But it’s not just for children – I’m not letting the adults snooze this Sunday. The teaching is for everyone.

The story of Pentecost is very dramatic – you can read the whole story in Acts chapter 2, but here is the beginning of the story:

When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

Take a minute to imagine that you’re one of the believers. You loved Jesus – you knew him when he was alive. You know that he was crucified and you know that he rose again – maybe you even saw him yourself. But now he has gone to heaven and you are waiting. But you don’t really know what you are waiting for.

What might it be? Is Jesus going to come back? He said he was going to ask God the Father to send someone else – a comforter, a guide. Who is that going to be? What will they be like?

Bet you’re not expecting wind and flames!

Wind and fire – a huge gust of wind indoors and then what looked like fire, touching everyone. Think about that for a minute. Imagine being buffeted by storm winds as you are sitting on the sofa. Imagine the room where you are now, full of flames.

Not that anyone was literally on fire – I think the apostles found it hard to describe exactly what happened, and all they could say was that it was like fire everywhere. What might that have been like, do you think? What about the Holy Spirit made them think of flames?  Maybe flickering lights? Maybe warmth? Maybe colours, red, orange and gold? Whatever it was, the disciples felt the Holy Spirit there with them – and suddenly they could all talk different languages!

What languages can people in your family speak? Maybe only English, or maybe lots of languages. Maybe you have friends who can speak other languages too. Imagine if suddenly, all of you could speak lots of languages. What language would you like to be able to speak and why? Me, I’d like to be able to use British Sign Language so that I can chat with people who are profoundly deaf.

Why was this important? Well, because Jerusalem was full of people from all over the world. And when the disciples went outside, everyone there could hear the disciples talking their own language – and so they could understand when the disciples told them about Jesus.

And thousands of people came to love Jesus, just like we do. Thank God for the Holy Spirit!

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