Sunday, May 8, 2016

Faithful Families Resources May 8 2016

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.

Weekly Inspiration

"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain."
Psalm 127:1 (NIV)

Family Closeness
Stopwatch Games
With a stopwatch and a bit of imagination, your family can clock hours of crazy contests.

  • How long does it take to blow a perfect bubble after you put a new piece of gum in your mouth?
  • How long can you chew your food for before it disappears?
  • How many times can you click in a minute?
  • How long does it take to run around the house?
  • How many baskets can you shoot in 2 minutes?
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
(for a way of explaining/talking about this reading with children look at

 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

Use some Pentecost Symbols to at your table: Eg. Tongues of flame cut out of red paper. A dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Some prayers to use at your dinner table over the next couple of weeks:

Wind over the waters, wind over the sea.
Wind of creation:
 Respond: breathe life in me.

Wind on the mountains, wind tossing the tree.
Wind of the prophets:
Respond: breathe life in me.

Wind on the Jordan, wind on Galilee.
Wind at Golgotha:
Respond: breathe life in me. 

Wind full of Easter, wind of the free.
Wind of the gifted:
Respond: breathe life in me.

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father,
ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith,
revive your Church with the breath of love,
and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

May God’s Holy Spirit be in our life [place hand on heart]
May God’s Holy Spirit be in our world [sweep hand out in front]
May God’s Holy Spirit be love between us [hold hands]

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.

May God’s Holy Spirit fill you this Pentecost season. May you and your family grow in the Godly Characteristics, may you grow to be more Christlike. May the Spirit of renewal blow over you and your family.

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

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