These Bones Will Live

These Bones Will Live

The Day of Pentecost, Year B

Do you ever feel like planning for Pentecost is like planning a birthday party? This momentous day is almost here, and you find yourself rushing around, collecting all of the bright colored streamers and tablecloths, curating the best party playlist, and wracking your brain for how to make this one day extra special.

Note to the Teacher

The focus this week is the movement from death to life. The icebreaker gets students interacting as they imagine ways to bring new life to boring things. Discussion questions encourage deep thinking around stories from Acts and Ezekiel. The active learning activity engages students’ creativity as they explore the idea of breathing new life into their lives or their community.

Icebreaker: Un-boring (15 minutes)

This game will get students thinking about how to “breathe life” into boring things in their world. Break students into at least two groups and explain that you will give them a list of basic, possibly boring, things. Each group is supposed to think of a way to alter the thing in the list to make it less boring and more interesting or exciting. Then, share with them the list of boring things and set a timer. Once the time is up, invite students to share. If your group is competitive, invite everyone to vote on each alteration. If you need a boring list to get you started, here you go:

  1. Cheese pizza
  2. Old sneakers
  3. A white piece of paper
  4. A teacher who is tired
  5. Waiting in a grocery store line
  6. Cleaning the toilet
  7. Shopping for socks
  8. A black-and-white movie
  9. Toast with butter
  10. A long lecture

Read Scripture (5 minutes)

Read Acts 2 and Ezekiel 37

Discussion (15 minutes)

  • What were the main signs accompanying the Holy Spirit's arrival on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2? Why do you think the excitement and experience shared on that day were important for the disciples and the early church? (Think back to the Gospels and what happened before the Book of Acts.)
  • Describe the vision Ezekiel sees in chapter 37. What does God command Ezekiel to do? Is there anything that surprises you in this story?
  • Do you think “dry bones” would still work as a metaphor for death today? Can you think of other metaphors that might communicate something similar to “bringing life to something dead” set in today’s world?
  • How did the crowd react to the disciples speaking in different languages, and what was Peter's explanation for this event?
  • If you had been there on the day of Pentecost, how might you have reacted to witnessing these events?
  • In what ways can we see the theme of "bringing life to the dead" in our world today? How can this vision inspire us to act in our communities?
  • Reflecting on the vision of the dry bones and the story of Pentecost, what lessons could we learn about hope and transformation in seemingly hopeless situations?

Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)

Invite students to create a 3-D visual representation of the transformation from death to life inspired by Ezekiel 37 and the events of Pentecost, emphasizing the Holy Spirit's power to bring change and hope.

Before you begin, gather glue, art supplies, cardboard for bases, and wire. If the weather is not good enough to let students go outside, collect some things from nature that might symbolize death and life.

Encourage students to go into nature and choose materials that represent dryness/death and life/flourishing for them personally or for their community. Give each student a piece of cardboard for the base and explain that they are going to create sculptures/mixed-media art that shows a transformation from "dry bones" to "flourishing life," using the materials provided.

Allow about fifteen minutes for the creation process.

Invite students to share their artwork and explain the symbolism behind their choices.

Conclude with a discussion on how the Holy Spirit can transform personal, communal, and global "graveyards" into places of life and flourishing and how they can participate in that transformation.

TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes


  • Glue
  • Art supplies
  • Cardboard
  • Wire

In This Series...

The Day of Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes