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May 2013

The Language of God

Day of Pentecost

From “Scolding the Snakes”

Scripture Reference: Acts 2:1-21  pentecostdove

Preparation (Optional): Arrange ahead of time for members of the congregation who are fluent in other languages to stand, one after the other and declare, “Jesus is Lord. I believe in Jesus!” in their various languages.

Can you tell me what language you speak? (Let children respond.) Many of us speak English, but in our country we hear other languages as well. Do any of you speak another language or know anyone who does? (Let the children share. If some can do so, let them say a few words in another language. Or, if you know another language, say something to the children in that language.) Does anyone know what language God speaks? (Someone may answer.)

When Jesus was preaching here on Earth, he spoke Aramaic, the language he learned as a little boy. Hebrew was the language that was used in the Jewish places of worship. And many of Jesus’ early followers spoke Greek and Latin. So were those God’s languages? The first followers of Jesus lived in the Middle East, so they spoke Middle Eastern languages when they told others about Jesus. Where can we find followers of Jesus today? (Let kids respond.) There are Christians in every country in the world now. The Bible is printed in more languages than any other book in the world!

Today we celebrate the Day of Pentecost, which is sort of like the birthday of the Christian Church. On this day, a lot of Jesus’ followers were all together in one place. Jesus had gone back to be with his Father in heaven, but before he left, he had told his disciples to wait for God’s Spirit to come and show them what to do. Suddenly a sound like a mighty wind filled the room. Then, what looked like small flames appeared over the disciples’ heads. Jesus’ followers were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began talking about Jesus in other languages. (Ask volunteers to speak of Jesus in different languages.)

(If you had volunteers speak in different languages, say: On that first Pentecost, it probably sounded a little like what you just heard.) The disciples began preaching in languages they had never known before. And there were people in the crowds who understood them. And the Holy Spirit knew those languages; the Holy Spirit helped them tell about Jesus.

How many languages do you think God knows? (Children may answer.) God can speak any language in the world to anyone in the world. And God speaks through followers just like us. You can each use the language you know in order to tell others about Jesus. The message of Jesus began to spread around the world on the first Pentecost, and it continues to spread whenever you tell others about Jesus.

Prayer:  Lord, give us the words to speak about you to people everywhere.

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