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Related Bible reading(s): Acts 2.1-21

Present the reading & Talk together

Open the Bible at Acts 2.1-21

The disciples are gathered in Jerusalem after Jesus has ascended to heaven. God’s Holy Spirit comes down on them like a whirlwind and flames of fire and they go out confidently into the city, all speaking foreign languages.

Choose from these two ways telling the story, followed by ideas for discussion time

The Holy Spirit comes

Encourage the children to keep their eyes closed (see Waiting for the Spirit). Start the story quietly and when the Holy Spirit comes, light a candle and invite them to open their eyes. Continue reading in a more animated manner, visibly expressing the emotions mentioned in the story. When Peter starts his speech, invite the children to stand up, and then deliver the speech in a dramatic way.

Interactive storytelling

Sit in a circle and tell the story, encouraging the children to do actions for whirlwind and fire (see Come, Holy Spirit) at the appropriate points. They could also do facial expressions for key verbs (see bold text).

With the sound of a whirlwind it came, rushing into the house where the followers of Jesus were gathered. There was a commotion and flames as the Holy Spirit came, resting on each of the disciples like a tongue of fire.

As it whooshed into the room, the Spirit filled them all with foreign languages, and the disciples spoke in words they didn’t understand. Inspired, and with words gushing out of them, they went out into the streets.

It was the festival of Pentecost and Jerusalem was full of Jews from all over the world. When the disciples came out into the street, the crowds heard them speaking the message of Jesus in their own languages. They were amazed. ‘How can this be?’ they asked. ‘All the followers of Jesus are from Galilee, but we can hear their message loud and clear in words we understand.’

Not everyone was impressed, though. Some listeners sneered, ‘These people are drunk.’ Peter, still filled to overflowing with the Spirit’s power, stood up in front of all the people.

‘We are not drunk,’ he said. ‘It’s only nine in the morning. No, you are seeing and hearing what the prophet Joel spoke about in the Old Testament.’

Peter continued, ‘Joel said, “God will pour his Spirit on all people; children will prophesy and adults will see holy visions. The Spirit is for everyone, men, women and children; there will be signs in heaven and on earth, and these will be the last days. Everyone who calls on the Lord’s name shall be saved.”’

Like a fiery whirlwind it came, and the Spirit breathed new life into the followers of Jesus.

Glossary

Pentecost a Jewish harvest festival.

Talk together  ( Connect faith with everyday life)

  • How do you think the disciples felt when they saw flames on each other’s heads and heard themselves speaking foreign languages?
  • When did you last feel really excited about something?
  • How could you help other people to experience God’s Holy Spirit in their lives?
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