Family Reflection: Pentecost

Gather your paper and markers (esp. red & gold) to help us travel in time!

We’re going to pretend we’re at the end of the Easter season: Pentecost

“Pentecost” means “50 days” in Greek

Why do we have Pentecost 50 days after Easter?

50 days after Passover, the followers of Jesus returned to Jerusalem. Jews from around the world came for the Feast of the Harvest (in Hebrew, Shavuot), when our Jewish brothers and sisters give thanks for the first of the wheat in Israel.

The friends of Jesus were all together again! Something special was about to happen.

Get your paper and markers, and let’s imagine what it was like to be at the first Pentecost.

Let’s light a candle (red if you have one) and prepare our hearts & minds to listen to the Word of God. Read aloud from the Book of Acts chapter 2:

Pentecost, 18th c. Russian icon

“Suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.”

Acts 2:1-8, 12-15, 31-32, 36-39, 41-42

What do you imagine this scene looked like? Drawing while listening is a good way to help us see the picture in our minds.

After listening to the scripture, we can also look at how other Christian artists imagined the first Pentecost. What do we notice in the following artwork? Who was there? How were they responding?

We hear about the first followers of Jesus gathered all together, both men and women, and especially Mary the mother of Jesus.

Pentecost mosaic. Source: music4life, Pixabay

We hear about Jews in Jerusalem who speak many different languages, and hear about the Resurrection of Jesus in their own tongues. Some of them think that Jesus’s disciples are drunk!

We hear about Peter, who stands up and explains to the crowd what happened to Jesus. “God has made Him both  Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

They ask him in return, “What should we do?”

“So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.”

Acts 2:41
Rembrandt’s Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch

For this reason, many people celebrate baptisms on Pentecost. In England, Pentecost is called WhitSunday or White Sunday for the white garments worn at baptism.

Let us end in prayer: Thank you God for

  • the gift of Your Son Jesus
  • people of every nation and tongue
  • filling us with the Holy Spirit
  • the joy of forgiveness in baptism
  • everything else for which we are grateful

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