(8 June 2014)
by Alison Thurlow
Suitable for Key Stage 1 - Church Schools
To explore the Christian festival of Pentecost.
Preparation and materials
- Bring a mobile phone and a cereal bar to the assembly.
- If possible, collect some images to illustrate the Pentecost story and have the means to display them during the assembly (optional, check copyright if used).
- Familiarize yourself with Ishmael’s song ‘I know Jesus loves me’ (on Ishmael’s I Know Jesus Loves Me CD, Kingsway Music, 2003).
- Today we are going to be learning about the Christian festival of Pentecost and finding out what Christians celebrate on this day. Just before we start, would you mind if I made a quick phone call to my daughter because I forgot to give her an important message?
Pretend to make a call, but become very frustrated when the phone doesn’t appear to work.
Can anyone suggest why my phone might not be working?
Hopefully someone will say that it needs to be charged.
Silly me – I forgot to plug my phone in last night, I’ll have to make my call later!
- Look as though you are about to start the story then go all floppy and pathetic.
Oh no, I was in such a rush this morning that I didn’t have any breakfast either and that really isn’t a good idea. Would you mind if I just had a quick bite of my cereal bar? That’s better, I’ve got a bit more energy now!
- The phone needed to be charged before it would work and I needed to have some breakfast to give me enough energy to do a day’s work. In the Bible, Jesus’ special friends, the disciples, seemed to need a special kind of energy, or strength, inside them before they could do the job Jesus had asked them to do.
- Before Jesus went back to be with his Father in heaven, he told his disciples that he had some important work for them to do. He told them to go to Jerusalem and wait for a special helper called the Holy Spirit to come. The trouble was, the disciples did not know who this Holy Spirit was or how he would come!
They were all waiting in an upstairs room in Jerusalem when they suddenly heard the sound of the wind, which just got louder and louder! This was strange enough, but what happened next was even more amazing – flames of fire seemed to appear and sit on top of everyone’s head, but no one was burnt!
- What they heard and saw was truly amazing, but how they felt was out of this world! It felt as though Jesus was with them, right inside them and they understood that this was the Holy Spirit who would now be with them wherever they went.
They were so excited that they had to go outside and tell everyone else. They all started speaking at once, but in different languages so visitors from other countries who were there were amazed that they could understand what they were saying.
They were so excited and happy that some people even thought they were drunk, but Peter, one of the disciples, explained to them Jesus had risen from the dead to demonstrate God’s love and power and they, too, could experience God’s Holy Spirit if they wanted to. By the end of the day, around 3,000 people had become followers of Jesus. It was on this day that the disciples started the job Jesus had given them to do – the job of telling other people about Jesus.
- So this is what Christians celebrate on Pentecost Sunday – the day when the Holy Spirit came, the day when lots and lots of people became followers of Jesus and the day when the Christian Church really started. For this reason, Pentecost is also known as the birthday of the Church.
Time for reflection
Imagine how excited the disciples must have felt when the Holy Spirit came.
Imagine how special they must have felt inside when they realized how much Jesus loved them.
Thank you for the special day when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples.
Please help us to realize how much you love us.
‘I know Jesus loves me’ (on Ishmael’s, I Know Jesus Loves Me CD, Kingsway Music, 2003)