Virtual Sunday School: May 31, 2020
Flaming tongues, like fire and yet something even more powerful, floated around them. The disciples suddenly found themselves speaking in the languages of all the people visiting Jerusalem with them — languages they themselves could not even understand! So filled were they with the Power of God’s Loving, Peaceful and Grace-Filled Spirit that they rushed into the streets to tell the other pilgrims about the Love of God in Jesus Christ.
I hope everyone is doing well, and has all of their school work wrapped up! It feels good to be done, doesn’t it!? Phew! Congratulations!!!
Does anyone know the name of the important event we remember in church this Sunday? I’ll give you a moment to guess…here’s your thought bubble…If you answered Pentecost, you were right!
So, what exactly happened on the first Pentecost, and why is it so important?
I invite you to join with me in imagining the scene. Jesus’ friends walked together many days. They wanted to visit the great and holy city of Jerusalem. They were there to celebrate the Festival of Weeks, which honored the fifty days between the first Passover and the day God gave Moses the Torah on Mount Sinai. There, they planned to visit the mighty, sacred Temple and join with thousands of other Jews from every region of the Roman Empire.
The Roman Empire — you may have heard of it — was incredibly vast. Now imagine this with me…if you wanted to drive from one corner to the Empire to the other, you would be in the car for three days straight, with no breaks not even to lay in a bed and sleep! (In that same amount of time, you could drive from Florida to California — and back!) The Empire’s size meant there were many, many different kinds of people who lived there — people of different ethnic backgrounds, who thought differently, and who spoke many different languages. The Jews in Jerusalem that day reflected that great, great diversity.
One morning during their stay in Jerusalem, the disciples sat quietly together in a room. Suddenly, a mighty wind filled the space to the brim, like water about to spill over the top of a glass. Flaming tongues, like fire and yet something even more powerful, floated around them. The disciples suddenly found themselves speaking in the languages of all the people visiting Jerusalem with them — languages they themselves could not even understand! So filled were they with the Power of God’s Loving, Peaceful, Grace-Filled Spirit that they rushed into the streets to tell the other pilgrims about the Love of God in Jesus Christ. And even though the disciples didn’t know what they were saying, everyone else around them, people from diverse backgrounds who spoke many languages, understood them perfectly.
And that, my friends, is the story of the first Pentecost. It was the day the church began the journey of becoming something new — something much bigger than she had been before. It was the first time people from outside Jesus’ community in Galilee heard the Good News of Jesus. It was a moment when God’s Power brought new life into the church.
And now I invite you to join with me in the “wondering questions.” Today they are presented by special guest Travis and his trusty canine sidekick, Birdie!
We’ll see you guys next week. Take care!
Good morning. Thank you for joining us on this last Sunday in May. We hope everybody is staying safe and doing well.
We’re going to be asking four “wondering questions” this morning. My name is Travis, and I’m better known as Birdie’s “Doggie Dad.” Behind me is Birdie. She’s a little camera shy. Just give her a second to warm up and maybe she’ll help read off a question.
- I wonder…have you ever been surprised?
- I wonder…have you ever had trouble understanding someone? I wonder what happened next?
- Birdie’s gonna help with question three…Maybe not she’s still a little shy. I wonder…have you ever gone on a journey — taken a trip or had a life experience — and came back different from how you were before? I wonder what happened next?
- I wonder…how you see the Holy Spirit bringing forth and inspiring new life?
Thank you for joining us. Birdie and myself would just like to say that we love you and we miss you — and Birdie just waves good-bye — and offers her paw of friendship. And she can’t wait until she can give everybody hugs and kisses!