June 2022


Overcoming Babel

Living the Spirit Life

Pentecost, Year C

It’s Pentecost! Go all out. Use red everywhere, depictions of flame, varieties of wind catchers—kites and streamers and balloons. It’s time for a celebration. That may feel over the top for many congregations, but there are ways to appropriately pull out the stops and enjoy worship this day.

Throughout this worship series, a book or poem will be created, based on Dr. Seuss’s rhyme and prose. The leader will rephrase scripture to create a new interpretation of the stories being told through this worship series. Each week will build upon the next. At the conclusion of the series, read the collection of verses.

Pentecost – Overcoming Babel

June 5, 2022 – Acts 2:1-4, NIRV

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers gathered in one place. Suddenly a sound came from heaven. It was like a strong wind blowing. It filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw something that looked like fire in the shape of tongues. The flames separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to speak in languages they had not known before. The Spirit gave them the ability to do this.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Today we are going to hear about the church’s birthday!

Pentecost was an important time that all Jewish people honored; they would come to Jerusalem to celebrate it. Pentecost was a festival. People came to Jerusalem from all over the place, and the disciples were also gathered there. This was to be the day that Jesus’ promise that God would send the Holy Spirit happened! Suddenly, there was a big sound like a rushing wind! (Make an animated demonstration when you describe the wind.)

And then, there were bits of fire that appeared! (Again, make an animated demonstration when referencing the fire.)

This fire was special because it did not burn up or catch their hair and clothes on fire. This fire was very special indeed, as it showed that God’s spirit was present. A lot of times in the Bible, God appears as fire. Can you think of a time where God appeared as fire? (Allow children to answer, but be prepared to add examples such as Elijah, the burning bush with Moses, and so on.)

Found in this fire was the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is God, and it is the Spirit that makes all things possible. Sometimes we don’t know what to say or how to pray . . . the Holy Spirit comes in to help. The Holy Spirit came to these disciples and appeared as flames above their heads!

This story is incredible, and it continues to get more amazing. The disciples started speaking in other languages. There were people in Jerusalem who spoke a lot of languages who were at the festival to be part of the celebration. The disciples didn’t have their dictionaries and translators with them, but t they were able to talk and understand all the other languages spoken.

Everyone started sharing the story of Jesus. They were full of God’s love! They all continued talking about the story of Jesus and sharing the amazing things he had done. A lot of people came to believe, and they began meeting together regularly. They shared everything with other believers and continued meeting and sharing and caring for one another. This sounds a lot like our church, doesn’t it?

At Pentecost, we get to celebrate the birthday of the church! Jesus had promised his followers that he would send the Holy Spirit, and, on Pentecost, he did! The disciples were given the gifts of the Spirit. They began to preach in all the languages that the Jews who were there spoke, and about 3,000 people decided to follow Jesus and were baptized that day. It was the start of an amazing way that God allows all of us to share the gifts of the Spirit with others. God wants us to share God’s story and love with the whole world.

As we begin the summer months, many teachers and our parents would like us to read over the break from school. Throughout the next few weeks, we are not only going to read, but with your help, we are going to write a book. You might not want to, but we are going to help one another write poetry. How many of you like poetry books, such as Green Eggs and Ham or One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish? I have some poetry to read to you each week as we learn more about Pentecost and the birthday of the church. We will also use this as our prayer each week, so at the end, will you help me with the “Amen”?

I will read today’s part of our story, but I am having some trouble finding some rhyming words. Can you help me? I will read what I have so far, and you can help me fill in the blanks. After we finish our poem, I will read it back, and we will use it as our prayer.

They came from near; they came from far
They came however from wherever they are
Strong winds blew when they all came
Tongues of fire, flashes of _______ (Ask the children if they can suggest a word that fits here and rhymes with “came.” The word is “flame.”)
They came from the north; they came from the south
Many languages were spoken out of everyone’s mouth
Each one was different and unique,
But all heard the Spirit speak
What does this day Pentecost really mean?
God through the Spirit was felt and ____. (Ask the children if they can suggest a word that fits here and rhymes with “mean.” The word is “seen.”)
Holy Spirit, through us, say
To the church “Happy Birthday.”
(collectively) AMEN!

In This Series...

Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Trinity Sunday, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes