Do you notice too, that it’s so easy to forget God in your normal daily life? An old hymn sings, “prone to wander Lord I feel it,” and Psalm 106 details the sad tragic results of forgetting God.
To help us remember Him, for God knows us all too well, He gave His people, the nation of Israel, seven annual feasts or gatherings designed to snap their attention back to Him as their loving faithful Father.
First a little context on this holy day for you and yours.
Israel’s spring holidays parallel the Christian calendar which includes Good Friday, Easter, and Pentecost. This year Pentecost Sunday is June 9th. Are you ready to mark this day with your family?
The pinnacle moment of the Resurrection is followed by 40 days of Jesus remaining with His followers on earth. Imagine what those days were like!!!
On the last of those forty days, Jesus ascended into heaven. But before He left He instructed His disciples to remain in Jerusalem for His promised Holy Spirit. The feast of Pentecost, pente meaning 50, marking fifty days after Easter Sunday, followed soon after His ascension. As devout Jewish men, the disciples would have understood being in the city, as required by religious law, for this feast and celebration.
The story is told in the early verses of Acts.
“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 they were all filled with the Holy Spirit …” (Acts 2:1,2 & 4).
Why don’t we at a minimum give thanks for this miraculous event? To our detriment, the remembering of this event has gotten lost, become overlooked in our modern ways.
Here are four ways you can remember and mark this supremely important day in church history with your family.
1. Buy two whole loaves of bread in any shape for your dinner. In Old Testament days the priest lifted two loaves of bread in the air before God and gave thanks for the early harvest. Though the Jews did not see the symbolism, the two loaves represented two groups of people God planned to harvest for His kingdom: His chosen people the Jews and everyone else called the Gentiles.
For lunch after church or dinner, that night place the two loaves of bread in the center of your table in imitation of the original practice. Read Leviticus 23:15-17 and then give thanks that God’s gift of redemption is for everyone, Jews and Gentiles.
2. Create a simple obstacle course in your living room or back yard. Blindfold one of your children who then has to find their way across the room or yard by listening to your voice calling directions; turn right, stop, take two steps left, etc. The blindfolded one has to listen carefully to your voice or he will trip or bump into things. Talk about how this is like listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice.
To further illustrate this for the next person’s turn in the obstacle course have another family members call directions at the same time, which teaches a very practical lesson in learning to follow one voice as opposed to many other “voices” that might influence our lives.
3. Bedtime reading. Because most children love to delay bedtime by talking, take advantage of this by talking to them about the Holy Spirit. (Or read these in conjunction with your dinner or obstacle course.)
At the last supper, Jesus prepared His disciples for what was to come. In that conversation He made several important promises, including several about the Spirit and what He came to do: John 14:16,17; John 14:26; John 16:7, 13-15. Ask your children to make a list of what Jesus promised His Spirit will do as they listen. If you have older children and teens this can become a very in-depth and beneficial discussion as you find other verses beyond these three, learning together how vital is the Holy Spirit and His gracious work in our lives.
4. Teach the concept of being filled with God’s Spirit. Read Ephesians 5: 17-19 and talk together about this command from Paul to everyone who is a Christian. What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? Why does God command this? How does being controlled by God’s Spirit make a difference in your life, or how should it make a difference? (For more information on the Holy Spirit, read “The Wonderful News of the Spirit-filled Life,” by Bill Bright.)
At Ever Thine Home our hope is to not only elevate Easter but to call us as women who desire to make our homes His embassy to mark other anniversaries on the Christian calendar with our families and friends.
We hope that adding even one of these ideas to your Pentecost Sunday will help you appreciate the wonder of God residing within each of us who believe in Him.
May you enjoy Pentecost Sunday as you celebrate the miracle of God’s continual presence with us.