In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is very often referred to as “Helper” and the “Wind”. In both Hebrew and the Greek languages wind means “the breath of God”. We cannot see the wind, but we certainly can feel and see the result of the wind in our daily lives as we feel the cool breezes on a hot summer day.
In the book of Acts, Jesus told his disciples to stay in Jerusalem and to wait for the gift that the Father would send, which would be the Holy Spirit. The disciples were waiting, watching out for it and wondering what was coming. It certainly wasn’t something they could actually grab or something they could bottle. They could feel and hear the wind, see the tongues of fire on the heads of believers and hear the different languages being spoken. With the multisensory symbolism that was typical of Jesus and His teachings, He rocked the disciple’s world as God’s rescue plan unfolded.
For us today, the Spirit, Wind and Fire isn’t something that always blows or moves you or even lifts a kite. But, God’s Holy Spirit moves us in very unique ways as we wonder about how we respond in our lives with Christ’s Spirit with us.
The Spirit also moves us to be together and that is certainly part of the Pentecost celebration story. It was the beginning of the church when the importance of families of believers being together in worship, prayer, study and service unfolded.
At Pentecost, they waited, watched and wondered. The believers did “catch the wind”, as heaven was coming into their hearts. Jesus was so very close to them now. Their hearts were ablaze. He said to them, “Make your home in me, as I make my home in you.” What a beautiful picture we see with Christ dwelling within our lives and our households and churches!
Read: Acts 2 in the Common English or New Living Tranlation Bible and for children use a Children’s Bible (The Jesus Storybook Bible or another one such as Celebrate Wonder Bible Storybook)
Cultivate Faith Talk (Preschool-Early Elementary)
- We feel comfortable and safe in our homes with our families. I wonder if that is the way the disciples felt as they thought about Jesus with them, as close as home?
- I wonder if the light was bright. I wonder if their heads were shining with flickering flames?
- I wonder if their hearts were filled with a warm feeling, sort of like when you hug your cuddly toy and your parents?
- I wonder what question you would ask the disciples?
- I wonder what you want to remember from this story?
Cultivate Faith Talk (Elementary and Older)
- I wonder how the disciples felt when the warm feeling came over them?
- I wonder how and when the power of the Holy Spirit works in us?
- I wonder how the people from many countries felt when Peter was talking to them and all of a sudden, they could understand what he was saying in their own language?
- I wonder if understanding the language reminds you of the universal language of love?
- I wonder if people see the Holy Spirit working in me? How?
- I wonder what this story has to do with my life today?
- I wonder if the disciples thought to call the fire department? Nope, probably not. Benjamin Frankin had not founded the first fire department yet.
- John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, had a heart-warming experience at a religious meeting on Aldersgate Street, London. This is arguably the most famous event in his life. Do you think his experience could have been similar to the disciple’s experience? Why or Why not? (see link about John Wesley at the end of this post)
Ideas for Faith-On-The-Go This Week-Let’s Notice and Experience (All Ages)-Choose one or two:
- When walking, notice if the wind is blowing. Do you see it blowing or do you see something else move?
- How does the wind feel?
- While sitting in your yard, watch the birds flying and gliding in the sky. I wonder how the birds use the wind?
- While playing with sail boats and boats in the bath or the pool, notice how the wind gives them power to move. How does God’s Spirit give you power throughout your day?
- Notice if anyone is flying a kite. Fly one with your family or watch a video of someone flying a kite. How is God’s Spirit like the wind that’s needed to fly a kite? How is God’s Spirit like the air we breathe every minute of every day?
- When your family cooks on a grill or roasts marshmallows over a fire, talk about the power of “fire”.
- As we “wait”, “watch” and “wonder” about events in our lives this week, talk about how hard it can be to wait.
Breathe in and say: “God is”
Breathe out and say: “with me”. Amen
Literature/Picture Book Connections:
As we discover life lessons throughout the Bible, there needs to be elements of surprize, empathy, passion and even struggle to help make these stories memorable and come alive in our hearts. These processes can help with comprehension of difficult concepts and ideas such as the Holy Spirit, by using well-chosen literature for children and youth. The picture book, Old Turtle by Douglas Wood offers valuable exploration of God’s nature, in nature including seeing and experiencing God’s creation. In addition, God being close to us is presented in the story as well as the ideas of ecology and peace. This book can be ordered from Cokesbury.com or from Amazon.
See more insights into Children’s Literature and the Bible on this website when you click on the category entitled, “Literature” found on the Homepage.
- Blessing for morning and night: I see that the Lord is always with us. We will not be shaken, for He is right beside us. No wonder our hearts are glad, and our tongues shout His praises! We rest in hope. (Adapted from Acts 2:25-26)
- Anytime Blessing: Jesus is in your heart helping you grow in faith…You are being rooted and grounded in love by Him. You are covered in love by us forever. (Adapted from Ephesians 3:17)
- Anytime Blessing: I pray we wait for the LORD; Be strong and let our hearts take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. He is already with us. From Psalm 27:14
Let’s “catch the wind” of the Holy Spirit and share faith in our families each and every day on our journey.