Pentecost, Year A
3-6 year olds
We heard last week that after 40 days of appearing to his disciples, Jesus returns to his Father in heaven. He seems to be leaving them, but he promises to be with them always. The disciples do not understand this. They do not understand how he can be with them and with his Father. He has promised to send his Spirit to be with them for all time, but they do not know what this means.
This Sunday we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. We call this feast Pentecost, and the colour of the feast is red.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
We know that the disciples and Mary are waiting in Jerusalem for the helper that Jesus has said he would send. They are the only ones who know that Jesus is Risen, that death is not the end of life. They wait in the Upper Room, the place where they had celebrated that Last Supper with Jesus, where he said those words that had never been spoken before. They are together, but they must feel alone without Jesus with them.
And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.
Together they can hear something and see something.
Together they hear a sound like wind. It is not wind, but it sounds like wind. It is a sound just for them.
Together they see a sight like fire. It is not fire, but it looks like fire. A tongue of fire. It is a sight just for them.
A sound and a sight! But why? What is happening?
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit
Something important is happening to them. They are filled with the Holy Spirit. I wonder what that feels like?
When the disciples and Mary are filled with the Holy Spirit, what do they do? They,
began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Once they could only speak one language, now they can speak more! Who is this Holy Spirit?
The people in Jerusalem wonder about this, too:
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered
Which sound makes them gather? It is the sound of the disciples and Mary speaking in many languages. The sound of wind and the sight of fire is just for the disciples and Mary, but this sound--the sound of thirteen people speaking in many languages--this sound makes a crowd gather.
I wonder what they are saying? The crowd of people tells us,
"in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.”
God's deeds of power! Of course! What do the disciples and Mary know?
Jesus is Risen!
His Spirit is with us!
We are not alone!
How they have changed!
First they were alone, a little group of people inside of their Upper Room. Now they are together with a large crowd of people.
First they could speak one language, now they can speak many.
First they were the only ones to know that Jesus is Risen. Now the whole crowd knows!
Little to large.
One to many.
The kingdom of God grows!
Who is doing this?
The Holy Spirit!
They can't see the Holy Spirit, and neither can we.
But they receive the Holy Spirit, and so do we.
They know Jesus is Risen. They know Jesus is with them. They know they are never alone.
And so do we.