Faithlife
Faithlife

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Prelude

Welcome

Call to Worship from Psalm 104

Leader: May the glory of the Lord endure forever. May God rejoice.

People:  rejoice...

Leader:... in God’s works! God looks on the earth, and it trembles;

God touches the mountains, and they smoke.

People: Let us sing to the Lord as long as we live,

Leader: ... sing to the Lord ...

People: Let us sing praise to our God while we have being.

Leader: May our meditation be pleasing to God,

People: For we rejoice in the Lord!

Leader: Rejoice in the Lord ...

People: Rejoice in the Lord ...

Leader: Rejoice in the Lord ...

All: Rejoice.

*Hymn of Praise                       # 177               Rejoice, the Lord is King

Invocation  (the Lord’s Prayer)           We wait for you, Holy Spirit.

Come, surprise us with your presence. Come, invite us into your new possibilities. Come, be real within our life together here. This we pray in hope and faith.

Litany:                                      Following Jesus with Prayer, Purpose and Passion

Our  Offering to God          We describe the coming of the Holy Spirit as fire, as doves of peace. We sense the Spirit has a sense of passion and immediacy. In John 7, we experience the coming of the Spirit, linked with the living water, which alleviates our thirst as we live the life of faith. Jesus pictures it as living water, which actually flows forth into the world from the hearts of believers. We do not hold the Spirit to ourselves. The sign that we have received the Spirit is that flowing life which spills over into the world around us.

Come, share in the life of the Spirit with thanksgiving. Let us bring our gifts to God.

Doxology

Prayer of Dedication          Receive all that we have offered, O God.

Receive our offering and receive our lives as we share in your work. Amen.

*Hymn of Prayer                      # 195               Hover o’er Me, Holy Spirit

Pastoral Prayer         O God, we confess that we do not always

encourage the life of your Spirit among us. There are times when we settle for less than you offer to us.            Silent reflection

If we have dimmed the light of the Spirit's life, cooling its passionate fires for good and justice into mild embers of complacency://forgive us, O God of eternal life, and be merciful to us.//When we divert the torrents of your flowing rivers of life into trickling streams; when we allow them to dry up by delaying decisive action as we study and discuss; when we hold back justice as we wait for a moment when there is less risk to us://forgive us, O God of eternal life, and be merciful to us.//If we cannot imagine ourselves as those who receive the gifts of the Spirit, confining our views of ourselves to the way we have been in the past://forgive us, O God of eternal life, and be merciful to us.

*Words of Assurance     The Holy Spirit moves in love toward us with

generous gifts for life, far beyond anything we have seen before; flowing through all that we are, bringing healing and grace are forgiven.

Thanks be to God!

*Prayer of Thanksgiving       On this day of Pentecost, we bring you our thanks, O God.  We thank you for the vivid life of the Holy Spirit,

springing up in red flames of energy and of warmth among us; soothing our hearts with healing peace.//We thank you for hovering wings of care,

which cover us as we go; never leaving us in loneliness, reminding us of the Christ, and carrying us into life and hope.//We bring you our thanks, O God.// As we bring our prayers to you, O God, on this joyful day of Pentecost, we hold in our hearts a longing.  We see before us a greater hope than we have ever had, a grander faith than we have ever known shining brightly in the life of your Spirit.  And so we bring our prayers to you now, for ourselves, //  for the church, //  and for the world.

Enlarge our every dream, and expand our every possibility.//Silence reflection.//Come, Holy Spirit, come.  Draw our spirits toward the

deep, wide vision that springs from your presence.  Call to us in each moment and each place.  Visit us in the shadow, as well as in the blaze of our best impulses.  Reach towards us when we fall.  Lift us when our lives lie low

in fear or in failure.  Hold us when there seems to be nothing left. 

Carry us back into the nearness and fullness of your love.  Spring up in delight in the midst of our survival.  Play in joyfulness among us

in the times of our renewal.  For you are the Spirit of hope, and we welcome you this day.  Amen.

*Hymn of Praise                       Surely the Presence of the Lord is in this Place

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place, I can feel His mighty power and His grace.  I can hear the brush of angel’s wings, I see glory on each face; surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.

Scripture Reading                     Acts 2:1-21  

Message                                   On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!!!

On the day of Pentecost, a holy hurricane whipped through Jerusalem and blew away the expectations of all who were gathered there.

The Spirit Scale

 “I know it when I see it.”
That’s what Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said back in 1964. He was trying to get a handle on one of the trickiest issues faced by the court over the last half century — the definition of obscenity. About the best he could do, in an attempt to nail down a very slippery concept, was to say, “I know it when I see it.”
We can certainly sympathize with Justice Stewart. There are so many powerful forces in our lives, both positive and negative, that are difficult to measure. Think of Quality. Goodness. Kindness. Gratitude. Envy. Lust. And these difficulties are not limited to human characteristics — when you step out of the house in the morning, how do you define the beauty of a sunrise, the gracefulness of a robin, or, say — the strength of the wind?
The question of wind comes up, because a wind is mentioned in the text for today.
The wind. That’s an invisible but truly powerful force. We know it when we feel it, but how can we describe it?
“The wind blows where it chooses,” Jesus said, “and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes” (John 3:8). Significantly, he goes on to say, “So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
For thousands of years, no one thought that the wind could be measured. But then, in the late 1700s, a cabin boy in the British Navy began to keep a meteorological journal so that he could stay on top of weather conditions. His name was Francis Beaufort, and he grew up to become a Rear Admiral, serving the Navy for 68 years. Over the course of his career, he developed a method for describing the wind that became known as “The Beaufort Scale.”
According to Beaufort, you’ve got your “calm.” You’ve got your “light breeze.” And then a “moderate breeze,” and then a “gale,” then a “storm,” and then a “hurricane.”
Perhaps he hadn’t heard of tsunamis. But then, they’re usually generated by earthquakes, not wind.
Beaufort’s definition of “calm” is a “sea like a mirror.”
When a “light breeze” is blowing, you see small wavelets on the water, and the crests don’t break.
A “moderate breeze” creates small waves, while a “strong breeze” generates large waves, white foam crests and probably spray.
When a “gale” is beginning to blow, you see moderately high waves and crests that begin to break into sea spray.
A “storm” is defined by very high waves with long, overhanging crests. The surface of the sea takes a white appearance, and the tumbling of the sea becomes heavy.
And at the top of the scale is a “hurricane” — a wind condition you don’t want to see firsthand! “The air is filled with foam and spray,” says Beaufort, and the sea is “completely white with driving spray.”
With his descriptions of every condition from calm to hurricane, Francis Beaufort created a way to describe the wind — a scale that is still in use today.
It was a windy day in Jerusalem when the apostles gathered to celebrate the harvest festival known as Pentecost. Acts tells us that there came a sound like the rushing of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where the apostles were sitting. Firelike tongues rested on each of them, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit — they began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability (Acts 2:1-4). Suddenly, the international crowd that had gathered in Jerusalem could hear the apostles speaking about God’s deeds of power — they could understand what the apostles were saying, because they were speaking the native language of each and every person (2:5-11).
But the force of the wind did not end there. It inspired the apostle Peter, who had acted like a Christ-denying coward just a few months earlier, to stand in front of a mob of mockers and shout, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem ... listen to what I say.” Peter proclaimed that the coming of the Holy Spirit matched the words of the prophet Joel — words that told of how God would pour out his Spirit upon all people. Your “sons and your daughters shall prophesy,” said Peter to the crowd, and “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (2:14-21).
What a mighty wind it was, whipping through Jerusalem and blowing away the everyday expectations of everyone who was gathered there. People were impacted, lives were changed, and it was — for apostles and members of the crowd alike — the storm of the century.
But how can we measure the force of this holy wind?
If we were to apply “The Spirit Scale,” what would that look like? How do we experience the Holy Spirit in our lives today?
Calm. This is the condition we experience when the Spirit leads us, equips us, and gives us serenity and peace. “Peace be with you,” said Jesus when he appeared to the disciples after his resurrection. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit,” giving them the power to forgive sins (John 20:21-23). When the Spirit Scale reads “calm,” we are given peace and a sense of purpose — we know that we belong to God, and that we now possess a sense of direction.
This Spirit-scale calm is something we feel even though our lives may be buffeted by hurricane force winds. Whatever the nature of the external wind that is assailing us, the calm of the Spirit keeps us on mission, on point, and on message. We are unmoved. We are unfazed. We are experiencing the “calm” of the Holy Spirit.
Strong breeze. At other times, the Holy Spirit comes as a “strong breeze,” a Spirit-wind that has a creative quality to it and leads to surprising improvements and new directions in our lives. In the Bible, this is seen in the “wind from God” that swept over the face of the waters at the moment of creation, bringing order out of chaos (Genesis 1:2).
This is the Spirit-wind that came upon the anointed figures of the Old Testament when they were empowered for specific tasks and missions.
This is the Spirit that came upon the seventy elders (Numbers 11:25).
This is the Spirit that came upon Balaam when he uttered his oracle (Numbers 24:2).
This is the Spirit that rested upon Othniel, the judge of Israel (Judges 3:10), and Gideon (6:34) and Jephthah (11:29) and Samson (13:25).
This is the Spirit that fell upon Saul (1 Samuel 10:10) and David (16:13).
When we head into a situation where new directions, fresh opportunities and unlimited possibilities face us, we look to the Holy Spirit for the “strong breeze” to empower us according to the will of God.
Of course, we may need to hoist a sail to catch the wind — but that’s another metaphor.
Gale. Higher up the scale is the Spirit as a “gale,” a force that breaks unhealthy patterns and shakes up the status quo. In a world that so often fights fire with fire and responds to violence with even more violence, we are given the power we need to go in a different direction. “Evil is not effectively resisted with hatred and with guns” — so observes Jeffrey Burton Russell in his book The Prince of Darkness: Radical Evil and the Power of Good in History. “The only response to evil that has ever worked is the response of Jesus ... and that is to lead a life of love. That means what it has always meant: visiting the sick, giving to the poor, helping those who need help.”
This is a powerful wind, one that can knock us off balance and push us out of our comfort zones. We need to ask ourselves: Are we willing to be blown in this direction?
Hurricane. Finally, at the top of the chart is the Spirit as a “hurricane.” This is what hit Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, turning the lives of the apostles completely upside down. They were reoriented from looking inward at themselves to looking outward toward a world in desperate need of the gospel. They were changed from fearful disciples into fearless evangelists, and they headed off into the mission field with a powerful sense of purpose.
We used to call this “revival.” When hurricane force Spirit-winds blow across the landscape of our souls and our common life together, nothing is ever the same.
When you look at a real-life hurricane, you see the power of nature at work — hurricanes release the energy of a 10-megaton nuclear bomb exploding every 20 minutes. In the same way, when you look at the movement of the Spirit on Pentecost, you see the power of Almighty God at work. You see the breaking down of language and culture barriers ... the empowering of frightened disciples ... the courageous sharing of Jesus Christ with the world.
Lutheran pastor Dan Mangler tells the story of a Shetland sheepdog his family owned, named Amber.
He recalls that Amber loved windy days, and no matter how windy it was she would stand on their front lawn, face the direction that the wind was coming from, put her nose up in the air ... and immediately enter doggy heaven.
She was oblivious to anything else going on around her, and Mangler thinks he knows why: It was the smells that the wind brought her. Her movements were, for the most part, confined to the house or yard, so the wind was, for her, a sumptuous blessing.
The wind brought her experiences of a world beyond her powers to visit, including the smells of a dozen kinds of trees and hundreds of wildflowers, of squirrels and rabbits, of pigs and cows.
“There is in that example, I think, a picture of Pentecost,” writes Mangler. “Pentecost is the wind that brings us experiences of a world beyond our powers to visit.”
May we all experience such a visitation!
And when we do, we know it when we feel it!
Participation Pointers:
• Arrange for a soloist to sing “Peace in the Midst of the Storm.” Some of the words are as follows:
When the world that I’ve been living in collapses at my feet.
When my life is shattered and torn.
Though I’m windswept and battered, I can cling to his cross,
And find peace in the midst of the storm.
There is peace in the midst of my storm-tossed life,
Oh, there’s an anchor, there’s a rock to cast my faith upon.
Jesus rides in my vessel, so I’ll fear no alarm,

He gives me peace in the midst of my storm.

*Hymn of Response                 # 189               O Spread the Tidings ’Round

*Sending forth                Go in joy as people who have received the Holy Spirit. Go and bring that life into all the world.

*Postlude

Animating Illustrations

A couple from a jungle in Africa arrived in Kingston, Ontario, and were given a fully equipped home to live in. They were handed the keys, but no one thought of explaining about the electrical appliances. During the month of July they went to bed when it got dark and rose with the sun. They collected wood and were able to cook in the fireplace. They found water came from the taps, and they did their washing in the kitchen, and dried their clothes on the line.
But by November they were cold, miserable and very frightened. Happily some friends came to visit, found the house in darkness and they flicked on the lights. They showed the couple how they could set the thermostat to heat the house and use the electric stove for cooking.
The next week they learned about the washer and dryer, the vacuum cleaner, how to answer the telephone and dial their friends. The television helped them find out about Canada, and how people survived the Canadian winter.
That story illustrates the huge change that took place on the Day of Pentecost. “Suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a mighty wind and it filled the entire house” (Acts 2:2). The couple from Africa discovered that they were living in a house in which they were free to enjoy light, and heat, and the many appliances needed for the Canadian winter. But the Pharisees and other religious leaders of the day had never told people all that God had for them. On the Day of Pentecost the early Christians began to experience the light and power available to them by the power of the Holy Spirit.
—Robert Brow, “Electricity: A parable for Pentecost,”


 


Commentary

The descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21) has traditionally been understood as the birth of the Christian church. It marked a turning point in the history of the revelation of Jesus as the Christ — as the Anointed One promised in the Scriptures of the Jews — and the incipient movement of that revelation into the first-century non-Jewish eastern Mediterranean world.

The event, as recorded by the author of Luke-Acts, occurred on “the day of Pentecost” (v. 1), one of the three annual agricultural festivals in the Jewish liturgical year (the others being the Festival of Unleavened Bread and the Festival of Ingathering). Pentecost, meaning “fifty,” fell 50 days after Passover, and was also known as the Festival of Weeks, since its legislation prescribes the counting of seven weeks (or Sabbaths) after Passover for its date (cf. Leviticus 23:15-21; Exodus 23:14-17; 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:9-12).

Pentecost was not a particularly conspicuous date on which to base the events in today’s passage, but it provided the first hearers of the passage a convenient and immediate chronological point of reference. Pentecost was a harvest festival of the early summer, in which the first fruits were gathered and offered in part to God. The symbolism of the first fruits of the field and the first fruits of the Christian revelation, while possible, ought not be pressed as a certainty.

The disciples were “all together in one place” (v. 1), repeating an emphasis found in Luke-Acts on the unity of the early church (see, e.g., Acts 2:44; 4:23-24; 5:12). The text does not indicate whether the company of the disciples was limited to the twelve or included the 120 mentioned in Acts 1:15; the overall context of the beginning of the out-breaking of the Christian message to the Gentile world would favor the latter supposition.

A sound “like the rush of a violent wind” and “divided tongues, as of fire” (vv. 2-3) were the physical manifestations of the Spirit’s presence. Wind and fire (and, frequently, earthquake) were the regular physical accompaniments to the appearance of the deity of the Hebrews — a theophany. The classic descriptions of theophanies in the Hebrew Bible are in Exodus 19:16-19 — the revelation of the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt. Sinai — and 1 Kings 19:11-15, the appearance of God to Elijah on Mt. Horeb. An echo in the New Testament of these classic theophanies is the account of Jesus’ transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9 and parallels; see also Exodus 24:9-18; Isaiah 6:1-8; 66:15-16).

The text does not indicate either actual wind or actual fire, but only “a sound” like wind and “divided tongues” as of fire. The language is explicitly metaphoric, and the emphasis of the description is on the supernatural, not the natural.

With this announcement of its presence, the Holy Spirit filled everyone in the house who began to speak in other languages, “as the Spirit gave them ability” (v. 4).

Being filled with (or overshadowed by) the Holy Spirit is the common biblical description of spirit possession, either individual or group, positive or negative (e.g., Numbers 11:25; 1 Samuel 11:6; 18:10; 19:9, 23; 1 Chronicles 12:18; Luke 1:35, 41, 67; 2:25; 3:22; 4:1; Acts 10:44; 19:6). The precise meaning of the expression varied considerably over the long history of its use in the biblical text, as did the degree of its theological content. Although ecstatic utterance often accompanied spirit possession, it was not necessary, and the result of the Spirit’s presence could take any number of forms.

The speaking reported in today’s lesson was unusual because those speaking in various known languages were all believed by their hearers to be “Galileans” (v. 7), i.e., from a culturally isolated region of northern Israel. Presumably the speakers’ accents, heard previously, indicated their origin, as there is no indication of peculiar dress or other appearance.

The ability to speak in known languages other than one’s own but understood perfectly well by others, which is the case in the story of Pentecost, is to be distinguished carefully from the ecstatic speech — speaking in tongues — described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:1-25, as Paul himself makes clear: “For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God; for nobody understands them ... “ (1 Corinthians 14:2).

The scene in Acts is precisely the opposite: “And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?” (v. 8). The gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the birth of the Christian church, is not an explosion of esoteric glossolalia, but a torrent of comprehension. Devout Jews from the diaspora — “from every nation under heaven” (v. 5) — were able to understand the message about “God’s deeds of power” (v. 11) through the agency of the Holy Spirit.

Although the content of those deeds is not further specified in the passage at hand, it almost certainly included the recitation of the mighty deeds of God — the magnalia Dei — that formed the Jewish narrative of salvation, from the creation of the earth in Genesis, through the liberation of the Exodus, the revelation of the law on Mt. Sinai, the survival of the wilderness experience, the arrival of the people in the promised land, etc.

To these antecedents from the Hebrew Bible would naturally have been added, in the Acts context, the oral tradition about Jesus — certainly the traditions about his adult life and teachings, his crucifixion and resurrection, and possibly birth narratives, as well. The crucifixion and resurrection, with whatever subsequent post-resurrection appearances may have been known to the gathered disciples, would have formed the core of “God’s deeds of power” specifically concerning Jesus.

But it is important to remember that the whole point of the passage in Acts is to link the extraordinary event in the nascent Christian community with the long history of salvation of the Jews, of which that nascent community was, until the time of the writing in Acts, comprised. Peter’s quotation from the prophet Joel (vv. 17-21, quoting with small but significant variations the Septuagint version of Joel 2:28-32) is intended to show how the events currently unfolding were, in fact, predicted in the Jewish Scriptures.

The story of Jesus would have made little sense to or impact on its first hearers — Jews — had his identity not been understood within the context of the Heilsgeschichte — the salvation history — of the Jewish people. Jesus’ identity as the Messiah made sense only in a Jewish context; pagans were not waiting for a messiah. This is the reason the Jewish-Christian message was directed, initially, exclusively to Jews: “He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’” (Matthew 15:24).

This theme, which runs throughout the gospels, reinforces the conclusion that Jesus understood himself and was understood by his contemporaries to be a Jewish reformer, not a Christian founder. There is very little evidence in the traditions about Jesus himself that he intended to found a new religion.

Historical circumstances in the immediate aftermath of his crucifixion and resurrection, however, made a decisive break between Pharisaic Judaism and the followers of Jesus almost inevitable, and one of those circumstances is reported in today’s passage. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, in such a way that Jews from all over the known world, as distinct from simply the land of Israel, could hear the message about Jesus’ relation to their story of salvation, was an important step toward the opening of that message to the Gentile world and the full acceptance of Gentiles into the new community centered around Jesus the Jew.


Animating Illustrations

On July 22, 1993, the wind turbine on the lawn of the Spirit Lake Elementary School [in Iowa] began producing electricity. Ninety months later, the school’s turbine had produced 1,570,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, which would have cost the district $124,900. This is enough electricity for 264 average Spirit Lake homes for a year. In addition to providing all of the electricity for the 53,000 square-foot elementary school, it also produced a reimbursement from the utility company of almost $25,000.

The final payment for the loan on the turbine was made during 1998, 3.5 years ahead of schedule. Today the almost $25,000 savings go to the school’s instructional program.

—“Spirit Lake wind project — vision to reality,” Spirit Lake Community Schools Web Site, spirit-lake.k12.ia.us. Retrieved December 3, 2004.

“Wind power” at “Spirit Lake”? Hmmmm.


On a weblog called “textweek,” Steve Schick finds that a scene in the classic movie The Music Man (1962) serves as a good illustration of the power of the Holy Spirit. He notes that the “rush of a mighty wind” opens the school doors; then fearful Professor Harold Hill and the pathetic River City Boys Band receive a power (from on high?). A great crowd gathers at the sound of 76 trombones and they’re marching, still, right today!

Interesting to note that “each one heard in their own language” — a mother was able to identify the “voice” of her son’s instrument, and she says proudly, “That’s my Barney!”


When Billy Graham held his historic crusade in Montgomery, Alabama, in the 1960s, he insisted on an integrated choir. The newspaper editorialized that Graham had come to Alabama and set the church back a hundred years. Graham’s answer was classic: “If that’s the case, I failed in my mission,” said Graham. “I intended to set it back 2,000 years.”



“Anyone who has sailed, been interested in meteorology, or listened to the BBC Radio 4 Weather Shipping Forecast should be familiar with the Beaufort Scale of wind force,” writes Margaret Rioux in Library Journal. “In concise but poetic prose, it classifies wind speed and force into 13 levels measured by the observed effect on trees, rising smoke, sails, waves and so on.”
She recommends Scott Huler’s book Defining the Wind: The Beaufort Scale, and How a 19th-Century Admiral Turned Science into Poetry as “a beautifully written portrait of Sir Francis Beaufort and of the scale that bears his name,” as well as a “historical tale of science as a way of observing and making sense of the world.”


G.K. Chesterton, the witty British Roman Catholic writer and journalist of the early 20th century, once said that there are two kinds of people in the world. When tree branches and leaves are waving wildly in the wind, people think of it in two opposite ways. He explains that most of humankind through the centuries has always believed that the wind moves the trees. But in recent times, he said, a whole new breed of people has emerged. They assume that it is the movement of the trees that creates the wind.

He’s joking, of course, to make a good point. The human consensus has always been that the invisible is what’s behind the visible. But after observing how modern people think, he reports with alarm that the broad consensus has fallen apart and modern people naively assume that what they see and hear and touch is the all of reality. What can be tested and verified by the senses is all there is.

—Leonard J. Vander Zee, “The wind of the Spirit,” May 30, 2004, South Bend Christian Reformed Church Web Site, sbcrc.org.


A group called “Word Made Flesh” is “sort of like a young Missionaries of Charity for Protestants,” according to staff member Bill Haley. These missionaries sure look different, reports Kate Bowman in Sojourners magazine (July 2004) — they are young men and women with tattoos and piercings, rather than aging nuns in white and blue habits. But both groups are committed to incarnation in ministry, and they know the importance of “being there,” in the flesh. Word Made Flesh responds holistically to poverty by meeting physical hunger and spiritual thirst in seven different countries — Bolivia, Brazil, India, Nepal, Peru, Romania and Thailand. In eight years, the community has expanded to more than 100 full-time staff members, plus continually revolving short-term “mission teams.”


The Holy Spirit can’t be pinned down to a single name or image:

He is like the wind;

He blows where he chooses; whence he comes and wither he goes no one knows.

He is God communicating himself, love overflowing.

He is the fountain’s spray and bubble;

A spring of living water in the hearts of the faithful.

—Piers Linley, “The Holy Spirit,” June 8, 2003, Preaching Home Page, torch.op.org.



Children's Sermon

Hold up a pinwheel, and ask the children to tell you how you can make the vanes move. They’ll tell you to blow on it. Give each child a chance to blow on it, so that the pinwheel spins. Point out that moving air — whether it is breath or wind — is a very powerful thing, even though it is invisible to us. There are huge wind farms across the country that have giant windmills on them — these windmills take the power of the wind and turn it into electricity. Ask them if there are any stories of wind power in the Bible. Tell them about the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came “like the rush of a violent wind” (Acts 2:2), and filled the followers of Jesus with new power. This windlike Spirit gave them the ability to share the story of Jesus with confidence and enthusiasm. The power of the Spirit is blowing through the church today, and it is seen whenever someone serves Jesus with talent and excitement and energy. Blow on the pinwheel again, and ask the children if they can see the power of the Spirit in anyone in your church: in Sunday school teachers, singers, musicians, kitchen helpers, youth advisers. Let them know that the Spirit is always moving, and that any of us can be surprised by its power any day.


Hymns

On Pentecost They Gathered

Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness

Every Time I Feel the Spirit


Praise

Spirit of the Living God

Let Your Spirit Rise within Me

Awesome God

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