Pentecost (red square) is a special day in the church year when we celebrate the beginning of the Church. While Jesus was alive, only those close to Jesus were taught how we should live. At Pentecost all of those followers started teaching others about Jesus, and the Holy Spirit helped everyone feel God’s love for us.
Read Acts 2:1-21 together. When we were celebrating Easter seven weeks ago, there was another feast at the same time in Jerusalem when Jesus was there, called Passover. That celebration recognized the time God helped the Hebrews get free of the Egyptians. Now we have another feast in Jerusalem named Shavuot in Hebrew, and Pentecost in Greek (it means ’50 days’ in Greek). Shavuot celebrates Moses giving the Ten Commandments. Just like during Passover, Hebrews and non-Hebrews from all over the Mediterranean would have come to Jerusalem. There were a lot of people speaking a lot of different language, and suddenly they could understand each other.
The earliest followers of Jesus were still Hebrew people and would have celebrated Shavuot too. Learn more about it. How do you think they celebrated in 1st century Palestine before they all left to go to different parts of the Mediterranean to teach about Jesus?
Above we learned about what Pentecost meant for the Hebrew people of Jesus’ day, and what it still means for Jewish folks today. Pentecost for Christians is a birthday party. We celebrate the beginning of the church, even though the followers of Jesus would not be called ‘Christian’ for at least another 100 years.
Have a party at your house. Dress in red, yellow and orange – the colours of fire. Make a cake. Make or order in a special meal. Decorate with flames and doves (the dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit). Pretend you can speak all sorts of different languages and over dinner talk with your family about what it must have been like for those early followers of Jesus to be able to talk with strangers about God’s love.