Last night we celebrated Pentecost together, led by Josie and the children and young people who attend Atrium and APEX. We are so grateful for all who help and shepherd our children. Here is a transcript of the words we heard last night. After a multilingual reading of the Acts 2 account of Pentecost, the children processed into the sanctuary and switched the liturgical color from white to red. Josie led, and our children read the acclamation, collects, and readings.
[Procession; singing "Holy Spirit Come to Us"]
We have gathered to celebrate Pentecost, the feast of the Holy Spirit—a gift for God’s people through all time, all places and languages, and all ages—young and old!
My name is Josie and I’m the Lead Children’s Catechist here at Incarnation. Today also marks the end of our year in atrium before summer break. “Atrium” is just what we call our kids’ Sunday school room, where we do a style of Sunday school called Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. We hear God’s words for us from the Bible, and throughout the year we celebrate the same story about Jesus that you all do here in “big church.”
Today instead of a traditional sermon, the kids and the catechists are bringing our Pentecost Celebration in here to the sanctuary. Thank you for joining us!
This is exactly what we’d be doing in atrium today, just with more amped up music, thanks to Beth and our musicians! Please join us in listening and responding to God’s words for us, and in celebrating the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.
Jesus died but He is risen!
[Lighting of the Paschal candle]
Before his death and resurrection, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to His disciples, and to people of all times and all places who believe in Him.
But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
After Jesus was risen, he visited his disciples to show them he was alive. He commanded them to wait in Jerusalem until “power from on high” would come to them.
And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.
[Singing: Psalm 46]
Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus ascended and returned to God the Father in heaven. Ten days later, fifty days after the resurrection, the day of Pentecost came, the descent of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were gathered in Jerusalem, waiting for the gift. Jews from all over the world were also in Jerusalem for the Feast of Weeks, celebrating the gift of the Ten Commandments.
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
[Singing: Holy Spirit, come]
With the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus shares with us His own spirit and its many gifts.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
[Child places cards in front of the seven candles, naming the gifts listed in Isaiah.]
The Holy Spirit brings many gifts. Let’s look at the gifts that we just heard about.
[As each gift is described, each candle is lit from the Paschal candle.]
To be wise in the ways of God
To recognize the path and call of God
To value what’s important
To understand God’s will
To see things clearly
To have insight into the mysteries of faith
To listen to God in our hearts
To receive God’s guidance about what should be done, and how to do it
Strength or "might":
To go on even when it’s hard
To have the strength to love God and to do God’s will
To learn more deeply about God
To know God’s love more and more each day
To know God’s reflection in all of creation
Wonder and awe, or "fear of the Lord":
To be aware of God’s greatness
To live in reverent amazement
Delight or piety, reverence:
To humbly delight in the Lord
To delight in God’s presence
On Easter, we celebrated that not only did Jesus come to BE the light, he also came to share His light with us. Now at the Feast of Pentecost, we celebrate that he invites us to receive the gifts of the Spirit.
John 16: 23-24
In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Now each of us is invited to light our own candle from the gift we would most like to receive today.
[Singing "O Lovely Source of True Delight]
[Children light a taper candle from the candle of the gift of the Spirit they'd like to receive, followed by the rest of the congregation.]
Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!