Sunday, May 10, 2015

Faithful Families Resources May 10 2015

50 days after Easter, at Pentecost, the Christian Church is born. A wonderful gift is given from God, for it is the day when the disciples are given the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament wind and fire were seen as signs to show that God was present. If you read the story in the book of Acts it talks about the Holy Spirit coming as ‘wind’ and ‘fire’. At Pentecost the gift of the Spirit filled the disciples with the energy and power to speak so that people from many nations could understand them. It was an event that changed the world. Before the Holy Spirit came to rest on the disciples, they were confused and fearful. They longed for the good old days when all they had to do was follow Jesus' lead. We too are invited to receive this wonderful gift which empowers us to use the gifts we are given from God and to grow in the fruits of the Spirit that make us more Christlike.

Pentecost is a special time, and special times need special attention. Here are some resources to help you be faithful with your family this Pentecost.

Family Closeness
Everyone shuts their eyes and someone calls out an emotion (joy, sorrow, happiness). Everyone tries to portray this emotion through facial expression. When the caller says open, everyone must open their eyes to see each other’s expression.

Questions for stimulating discussion in your family.
  • What is the most exciting gift you have ever been given?
  • What made it so great?
  • What is the most exciting gift you have ever given? Why was it so great?
  • What is something that you are good at? How do you use it to serve others?
  • What godly characteristics do you find in yourself and in your family: Kindness, gentleness, compassion, patience, hospitality, humour, generosity, mercy, justice, faithfulness, self-control, loyalty, love, trustworthiness, truth telling, straight talking honesty, . . . .  . .
  • Have you ever felt God’s presence in a special way? What happened? How did you feel?
  • Who is someone you know who seems to be filled with Spirit? What are they like?

With your family read Acts 2.1-21: Pentecost

Questions for Discussion:
  • How did the Holy Spirit come upon the disciples? What happened?
  • How do you think you would have felt if you had been there?
  • What strange and special thing happened to the disciples because of the Holy Spirit?
  • What was the purpose of the disciples ability to speak many languages?

Prayer and Celebration
This is a day to celebrate and thank the Holy Spirit for all our unique and wonderful gifts.

We each have the character of God growing in us, the fruits of the Spirit, that enable us to minister in every part of our lives.  Read some of the characteristics of God that grow in us and spend time reflecting on how the Holy Spirit might be growing these in you?

Kindness, gentleness, compassion, patience, hospitality, humour, generosity, mercy, justice, faithfulness, self-control, loyalty, love, trustworthiness, truth telling, straight talking honesty,

Which of these Godly characteristics do you see growing in your own life? Which one of these characteristics do you most need? Which one would help you the most in the way you serve God and others?

Pray today that God’s Holy Spirit might fill you that the fruit of the Spirit might grow in you. Ask God how you might serve in the world, ask God to help you to grow in the power of the Spirit.

The gift of tongues at Pentecost enabled the apostles to speak and be heard in many different languages. This was a reversal of what happened in the story of Babel where people could no longer understand each other. Part of the purpose of this gift was for the apostles to speak the good news to those from other lands.

Pentecost is a time of gifts. The Holy Spirit gives us gifts but they are really gift so that we can serve others. As a family talk about what gifts you might have that could be used to serve others in your neighbourhood and in the world.

Bonus Family Activity
Draw Attention to Yourself
Using any available materials, make large red or orange Pentecost symbols (paper tongues of fire, kites or windsocks, decorated balloons or pinwheels) to be displayed outdoors. On each symbol write three gifts of the Spirit you have been given to serve God.
Make a collage of warm colours to remind your family of the story of Pentecost.
Make up a dance using coloured streamers to portray the wind, fire and excitement of the disciples when they received the Holy Spirit.

Make up a list of words to describe 'fire' and 'wind', and then use them to write a poem.

(This material is based on and draws from earlier Faithful Families emails by Stephen Harrison and Richard Browning: An Unless Ideas Production.) Unless otherwise noted all material on this blog is copyright Stephen Harrison and Richard Browning

No comments:

Post a Comment