Sunday 31st May
Theme: Transformed by the Spirit
Target Age Group: 3 - 9
Approximate Time: 20 – 30 mins
Over the last few weeks we have been looking at stories of how Jesus appeared to the disciples after his resurrection from the dead. Last week, the Bacon family helped us explore the ascension when Jesus returned to heaven. Before he went, he gave the disciples some instructions and a promise; to wait in Jerusalem so that you can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Today we celebrate Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples in marvellous ways. The spirit is still being poured out on us too and God’s desire is to transform your life from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary. So as we go through this session, think about how the Holy spirit can transform you from ordinary to extra-ordinary.
If you were a superhero for a day what super-power would you most like to have and why
Starter Activity: Transformers
Talk about people or things that transform. Can you think of films or TV programmes where the characters transform from being ordinary to extra-ordinary? How do they transform? And do they use their powers for good or bad?
Song: Holy Spirit fill me up
Look up the following link and join in with the song;
Scripture: Acts 2:1-24; 37-40
Read the story of the first Pentecost in Acts 2:1-24 and 37-40
1. What signs were there of the presence of God when the Holy Spirit appears in verses 2-4?
2. Why were the crowd amazed?
3. Why did others make fun of them? What is Peter’s response in verse 15?
4. What does the prophet Joel say that the spirit will do?
5. What is the response of the crowd in verse 37?
6. How does Peter encourage them to respond?
Imagine the scene. Jesus has told you to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Holy Spirit and he has said you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. You’re waiting for something wonderful, but you don’t really know what to expect. And then, when the Holy Spirit turns up, its powerful. You experience a violent wind and tongues of fire resting above your heads. For some of us that sounds really cool, for others it might sound terrifying but however we see it, it is undeniably a powerful moment where God has shown up.
There are three things I want to pick out from the Pentecost story. Firstly, when the Holy Spirit comes, God takes control. The disciples start speaking in languages that they would have never spoken before and people from all over the world start hearing the message of God in their own language. This is made more remarkable because the disciples were fishermen and so wouldn’t have necessarily learned other languages. Sadly, not everyone appreciates the moment – some mocked them and thought they were drunk until Peter reminds the crowd that nobody is drunk because it’s only nine in the morning. Sometimes when God shows up powerfully, He takes control and things can happen that are outside of our usual experience. This can seem a little strange or unusual and the temptation is to dismiss it or explain it in our own terms. But it’s better to allow the spirit to do what he wants to do and enjoy being in God’s presence.
The second point is that the Holy spirit can often bring about miraculous signs. Already we have talked about the tongues of fire, the violent wind and the speaking in different languages. Peter quotes the prophet Joel who says that there will be wonders in the heavens and signs on the earth below. And that sons and daughters will prophesy, young men will see visions and old men will dream dreams. The Holy Spirit is the power of God that is going to transform us from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary. And if we’re regularly praying for the spirit to come, we almost certainly will see miraculous things too as our eyes become more used to seeing God at work.
Finally, the Holy Spirit brings us to a deeper knowledge of the truth about Jesus. Peter stands up and speaks boldly, telling the crowd who Jesus was, the son of God and about His death and resurrection. This is so powerful that the crowd are ‘cut to the heart’ and ask what they need to do. Peter tells them to repent and be baptised and they too will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
God’s promise is that the Holy Spirit is a gift that will transform our lives from the ordinary to the beautiful and extra-ordinary. But we can prepare for that gift, firstly by being hungry for God, by desiring his spirit in our lives. And secondly by being sorry for the things we do that upset God and allowing Jesus into our lives. And the more you allow the spirit into your life, the more you will allow God to take control and use you for his will. The more too, like the disciples you will start to see the Holy Spirit doing wonderful and miraculous things. And finally, the more you receive the Holy Spirit, the more you will know and understand the truth about Jesus, about what it means that He has forgiven your sins by his death and resurrection. May God Bless you all and may the spirit of God be with you.
Song: Consuming Fire
Play ‘Consuming Fire’ by Tim Hughes
Craft Activity: Tongues of Fire
Today for your craft, we will be making tongues of fire hats. You will need red, yellow and orange card (Or you can colour your flames if you prefer).
Step 1: Make a head band by measuring around your head and cutting a long, thick, strip of card. Staple or glue where the two ends meet.
Step 2: Make your flame by drawing a flame shape on red paper / card and cutting it out. Then draw a slightly smaller but similar shaped flame on orange paper / card and cut it out. Finally do the same with the yellow paper / car. Stick them on top of each other as shown and glue / staple to the head band.
Step 3: Cut a strip of white paper and write today’s memory verse on it. Then stick this onto the head band;
Memory verse: ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you’ (Acts 1:8)
In Acts 2:38 Peter says;
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’
Spend some time thinking about things that you want to say sorry to God for. You may want to write a list or write them on pieces of paper and screw them up.
The fruits of the spirit are;
Love, Joy, Peace, Faithfulness, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Patience and Self Control
You may want to draw some fruits and write the fruits of the spirit on them. Choose a fruit that you would like to ask God to give you more help with and spend some time praying for more of that gift in your life.
If you would like you can create and paint a tree from some card and stick your fruits on.