Growing in Faith Together on Pentecost
Begin by giving thanks for God’s presence
- One way – One way God was present to me this week was …
- Prayer of thanksgiving for God’s presence and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives:
We thank you, God, for the ways your Holy Spirit helps us see your love through the people and world around us. We thank you for the gifts of the Spirit within us and for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, open our hearts as we listen to your word. We ask this in Christ’s name.
Introducing the Word
Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. It is the day that Jesus’ disciples receive the Holy Spirit and begin their mission of proclaiming the Good News that Jesus had brought for the world – God’s love is for everyone!
Pentecost marks a new beginning. Fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection, before he returns to the Father, Jesus and his Father send the Holy Spirit to empower the disciples to continue Jesus’ mission of sharing God’s love and of building God’s kingdom on earth – the Church.
The disciples begin immediately. More than 3,000 people are baptized after hearing Peter preach about Jesus – on the same day the Holy Spirit descended on them! Within 50 years after Jesus’ Ascension, the disciples had told thousands of people about Jesus and they joined the disciples in telling thousands of others. Today, WE are the Church. We follow in the footsteps of the first disciples, telling others about Jesus and helping to build God’s kingdom on earth.
- Read aloud from Scripture: Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11
Finding the Light
Take turns sharing your thoughts about the reading by asking one or more of the questions below.
- What important thing was said or done in this reading?
- What words or actions in this reading are interesting to you? Inspiring? challenging?
- What is the message of this reading?
Taking the Light into the World
- In what way can you share God’s peace this week?
- Invite everyone to suggest a way they can share peace individually or as a family
- Sign of Peace – Let us offer each other a sign of peace, as Jesus offered his friends his peace.
- Concluding Prayer
Leader: Let us pray together the prayer to the Holy Spirit:
All: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Focus on Pentecost as the birthday of the Church
Have children help bake and decorate a birthday cake (or cupcakes) to celebrate the birthday of the Church at Pentecost. Top with 50(!) candles (or 1 for each decade, or 1 per cupcake) to symbolize the tongues of fire that appeared over Jesus’ disciples in the Acts of the Apostles. Decorate with red, the liturgical color for Pentecost (napkins, candles, cups). Have everyone wear red for your celebration.