Gathering together for important occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays is a very biblical concept. God instructed His people to come together several times a year knowing it was good for them to be reminded of what mattered most in life. Today we do the same without realizing we are following an ancient pattern when we gather to celebrate the birthday of Jesus, the anniversary of His resurrection and His ascension, and other important events.
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. Pentecost was one of the three feasts where the Israelites were commanded to gather together, so this Sunday as you gather, here are four ideas for how to mark this important occasion with your family.
1. In the Old Testament one practice for the feast of Pentecost was for the priest to wave two loaves of bread in the temple before God in thanksgiving 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 you might buy two loaves of bread in imitation of the original practice. Give thanks that God’s gift of redemption is for all who are willing to receive it.
2. Create a simple obstacle course in your living room or back yard. Blindfold a volunteer 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 other 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. Read one or two of these verses to learn or be reminded of who the Spirit is and what He came to do: John 14:16,17; John 14:26; John 16:7, 13-15. You might make a list from these verses about what the Spirit will do for us. 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. Then read Ephesians 5:17-19 and talk about this command that Paul wrote 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.)
We hope that adding even one of these ideas to your Sunday afternoon will both help you appreciate the wonder of God actually residing within each of us who believe in Him and help you give your children a beginning level of understanding of this vital truth.
May you enjoy Pentecost Sunday as you celebrate the miracle of God’s continual presence with us.