Read: Acts 2:1-21
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
The Holy Spirit Came in Power
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Airports can be very noisy places. Out on the runways, huge jet engines roar as dozens of airplanes arrive and depart. Hundreds of trucks and transporters rumble back and forth with carts full of bags and cargo. Inside the airport is a noisy place too. Hundreds of people hurry from one place to another. They need to move quickly so that they aren’t late for their flight! The noisiest and busiest airports are the ones where people arrive from all over the world. Not only are there more planes, but there are more people—and many of them speak different languages. If you listen carefully, you can hear all sorts of things at once.
On the day of Pentecost, the city of Jerusalem was a busy place. People from all over the world had come to worship God. But not very many of them knew about God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Only a few weeks before, Jesus died for the sins of the world and rose to life again on Easter. But only a few followers of Jesus knew truth of that exciting news. None of them knew how to share that story—especially in someone else’s language!
The Holy Spirit had been waiting for this opportunity. On that busy day in Jerusalem, he wanted the story of Jesus to spread. So the Holy Spirit went to work with great power: he worked in the hearts of the disciples to give them courage to speak, and then he worked in the minds of the disciples to give them the ability to speak, even in different languages! Suddenly, all the visitors in the busy city could understand the story of Jesus! Whether they had come from Egypt, Africa, Rome, or anywhere else, all the people heard the story of Jesus in words they could understand.
Today, the Holy Spirit still works through people who share the story of Jesus in many parts of the world. Not just pastors and missionaries, but people like you and me! While we might not see the same kinds of sudden miracles the disciples did, like tongues of fire and instant language learning, the same powerful Holy Spirit of God lives in us. We can be like those first disciples and confidently tell everyone we know the exciting news about Jesus, because the Holy Spirit’s power is at work in us!
Dear Holy Spirit, help me use the tools and the time you give me to share the truth of Jesus. Help pastors, teachers, and missionaries do what they do for your glory. May the whole world know the story of God’s love in Jesus. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Name someone you know who is able to speak a different language.
- If you could share Jesus’ love with anyone, who would it be?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- It usually takes many years to learn a new language. On the day of Pentecost, it took only an instant for the disciples to learn. What does that teach us about God’s power and plans that day?
- If you read all of today’s lesson, the Holy Spirit’s power is displayed in loud sounds, flames, and different languages. How does it make you feel to realize that this same powerful Spirit lives in you as you tell people about Jesus?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- When Jesus’ disciples started speaking, some people were eager to hear their message. Others made fun of them. What’s the lesson we learn from that today?
- If you were a pastor, teacher, or missionary, name a country where you would be excited to serve. Identify a cultural challenge you would need to overcome in order to share Jesus.
Hymn: CW 176:1 – Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord
Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord! May all your graces be outpoured
On each believer’s mind and heart; Your fervent love to them impart.
Lord, by the brightness of your light In holy faith your church unite
From ev’ry land and ev’ry tongue;
This to your praise, O Lord our God, be sung: Alleluia! Alleluia!